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Cheese crackers...

Tube poster ludicrously banned for referencing the online sale of cheese

Link Here12th September 2023
Full story: Transport for London Censors...Advert censorship
Transport for London (TfL) has ludicrously banned adverts for business premises provider Workspace for using a cheese company as example customer.

The posters put forward by Workspace featured three panels, reading: From crunching numbers to selling cheese online, it all happens at Workspace. The advert featured an image of a hand typing at a calculator and another of some cheese, alongside the names of two Workspace tenants - an accountancy company, and London-based online cheese shop Cheesegeek.

But the adverts were rejected by TfL under its censorship rules aimed at cutting obesity. TfL claimed the poster wasn't going to conform to their advertising rules because of the high saturated fat contained within cheese.

TfL's rules dictate an advert will not be approved if, among numerous other reasons, it promotes (directly or indirectly) food or non-alcoholic drink which is high in fat, salt and/or sugar, according to the Nutrient Profiling Model managed by Public Health England.

Cheesegeek founder and CEO Edward Hancock slammed the decision as ridiculous and said it wrongly categorises cheese alongside genuine junk food.



The no campaign...

Advertising billboard company rejects political advertising from Alba Party

Link Here28th August 2023
A pro independence poster featuring an image of king Charles has been banned in Scotland.

The design by Alex Salmond's Alba Party was rejected by the media billboard company Global, which controls more than 250,000 UK advertising sites, lest it could cause offence.

The poster depicts the official image of the King, as he appears on postage stamps, crossed out by a red prohibition sign. The image is below the message: It's time for an Independent Republic of Scotland.

It is the second time this month that Global has rejected one of Alba's poster designs, after a cartoon image of Rishi Sunak, depicted as a vampire sucking Scotland's oil, was also refused. Global explained that it was slanderous toward the Prime Minister.

The Alba Party claimed that a media company should not be able to control the political messages the public sees.Chris McEleny, the general secretary of Alba said:

We have a potential general election next year and the current situation is that media giants will get to decide which messages the public get to see and which messages they don't.



ASA's creepy crawler...

The UK advert censor outlines how it scours the internet looking for easy offence and gender sterotypes

Link Here14th July 2023

In this article we want to share more details of the ASA's Active Ad Monitoring system, which uses AI to proactively search for online ads that break the rules.

The ASA is already a proactive regulator. Our expert teams are constantly trying to understand emerging issues and monitor compliance with the rules. But the scale of online advertising makes this challenging and resource intensive. The Active Ad Monitoring system our Data Science team has built sorts through big volumes of ads, delivering intelligence to experts across the ASA and allowing them to do their jobs more quickly and efficiently.

The Active Ad Monitoring system is made up of three components:

  • Ad capture at scale -- The system captures ads from social media, search and display using a mix of public sources, our own internal monitoring tools and proprietary datasets

  • AI-based filtering -- Machine learning models are configured to spot the ads that are most likely to be relevant to a given issue, or to have specific compliance problems

  • Expert review -- Our experts can browse and search content related to their work via a web interface that allows them to quickly assess issues, and identify problematic examples for action

Developing the capabilities of the system is an ongoing project. At the moment it only covers a subset of the issues the ASA is working on. But it is already making an impact in high-priority areas, and currently processes more than 100,000 ads each month.

In the past, we would have relied on limited, labour-intensive manual searches and complaints from the public to stay on top of any non-compliant ads. Today, we use our Active Ad Monitoring system. After capturing ads by relevant advertisers from a range of social media platforms, the system applies machine learning algorithms to identify and flag likely non-compliant ads, for our experts to review and act on.

Each week the Compliance team is presented with an organised list of any ads that the Active Ad Monitoring system has identified as likely to break the rules, with explanations of the issues found. This has enabled us to act quickly, taking follow-up action with advertisers to secure compliance, and working closely with platforms to take down ads where necessary. Overall, the ASA's work, assisted by our Active Ad Monitoring system has already led to hundreds of ads being either amended or withdrawn.

At the ASA we are not just investing in AI, we are committed to creating and deploying real-world applications that lead to fewer non-compliant ads. We are, therefore, continuing to rapidly develop our Active Ad Monitoring system, making it an even more core part of the way we regulate.



Junk decisions...

Transport for London ludicrously bans a stage show poster depicting a wedding cake

Link Here8th July 2023
Full story: Transport for London Censors...Advert censorship
A poster for a West End play featuring a wedding cake was banned by Transport for London (TfL) ludicrously seen as promoting foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

The ad for Tony n' Tina's Wedding , a dinner show at Wonderville, Haymarket, featured a three-tier sponge cake.

The interactive show is set at an Italian-American wedding, with a three-course meal, live music and dancing. Producer Paul Gregg told BBC London they could not run the posters after they delivered them to TfL. He said of TfL:

They said 'you can't put these up, they've got cake on'. It was a bit of a surprise...

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