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Thin shaming...

ASA bans Motel Rocks fashion advert over thin model

Link Here15th July 2021

Two paid-for Facebook posts by the clothing retailer Motel Rocks:

a. The first post, seen on 9 April 2021, featured a female model wearing a pink dress getting out of a car. The post included the caption Shop our 'Rose Flock Pale Pink' print on site now.

b. The second post, seen in May 2021, featured a model wearing a halter neck dress. The post included the caption Shop our weekly drops of the hottest Spring pieces on site now.

Five complainants, who believed the models appeared to be unhealthily thin in ads (a) and (b), challenged whether the ads were irresponsible.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

Both ads showed a still image, which when clicked played a video. The ASA understood the complainants had raised concerns about the way the models appeared in the still images and we therefore assessed those images only.

We considered that the model's legs in ad (a) looked very thin, with her thighs appearing to be the same width as her lower leg, and out of proportion with the rest of her body. That impression was exaggerated by the ad's lighting, the angle of the image and the position of the model getting out of the car. We concluded that ad (a) made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was therefore irresponsible.We considered the cut of the neckline of the dress in ad (b) placed emphasis on the model's left arm and shoulders. We considered the position of the model's arm made her arm and shoulders appear very thin, with the model's bones in those areas appearing prominently. We also considered the angle of the model's left arm made her upper arm appear noticeable thinner than her elbow joint. Therefore, we also concluded that ad (b) made the model look unhealthily thin and that the ad was irresponsible.

The ads must not appear again in their current form.



Stereotypically Woke...

ASA consults on political correctness rules for racial stereotyping in adverts

Link Here23rd June 2021

Call for evidence: racial and ethnic stereotyping in advertising

The death of George Floyd in 2020 and the global, high-profile reaction which followed brought to the forefront discussions about racial inequality. From its perspective as the UK advertising regulator, the ASA has been reflecting on what can be done to address factors that cause racial and ethnic minorities to experience disproportionately adverse outcomes in different aspects of their lives.

The ASA has a strong record of banning ads that are likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of race and ethnicity. As a proactive regulator, the ASA must ensure that we are aware of how societal values and prevailing standards are constantly evolving and what this means for our interpretation and application of the advertising rules.

We are now putting out a call for evidence to help us establish whether and, if so, to what extent racial and ethnic stereotypes, when featured in ads, may contribute to real world harms, for example, unequal outcomes for different racial and ethnic groups. In the context of the call for evidence, we're particularly interested in the following areas:

  • The depiction of race and ethnicity in advertising, including examples of racial and ethnic stereotypes.

  • How the issues of objectification and sexualisation relate to race or ethnicity in advertising.

  • How particular cultures, or racial and ethnic groups with particular religious affiliations, are portrayed in advertising.

  • The use of humour relating to race or ethnicity in advertising.

We recognise that evidence can take many forms. Stakeholders may choose to submit existing evidence, secondary analysis, bespoke research or examples. Both quantitative and qualitative evidence would be useful to us.

We are also interested in hearing from members of the public about how this type of advertising has affected them and we would welcome your own personal observations or views.



Miserable drinks censors...

ASA whinges about a clubbing event featuring excessive drinking

Link Here15th June 2021

UK Garage Brunch is a large scale lunchtime clubbing event featuring Garage music, buffet lunch and unlimited drinks that are included in the ticket price.

The ASA whinged about two posts on event promoter UKG Brunch's Facebook page:

a. The first post, seen on 16 March 2021, featured a video showing two young women who appeared to be inebriated walking then falling over on a pavement. A third woman was then shown falling into a bush. Superimposed text on the video stated LEAVING A BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH LIKE. A caption on the post stated We All Have A Friend Like Girl No.3! ... #UKGBrunch #DaytimeRaver #drinkresponsibly. The post also featured a link to buy tickets to UKG Brunch's events.

b. The second post, seen on 5 April 2021, featured a video of two women who appeared to be inebriated walking out of a building and then falling over on the pavement, with the UKG Brunch logo displayed. Superimposed text on the video stated CAUSUALLY LEAVING A BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH. A caption on the post stated It's The 3rd Girl At The End... The Countdown IS ON Until We Reopen...

The complainants challenged whether the ads were irresponsible because they encouraged excessive drinking.

UKG Brunch Ltd said the posts were intended to provide light hearted relief following a difficult year. They said the women shown in the videos were not associated with, and had not attended, UKG Brunch's events, and that both posts had featured the hashtag #drinkresponsibly. Since being notified of the complaints by the ASA they had amended the captions on both posts to state Drink Responsibly Guys!! (disclaimer: we don't condone irresponsible drinking) #drinkresponsibly.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that was likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise. For example, they should not encourage excessive drinking.

The ASA noted that neither of the videos featured alcohol or the consumption of alcohol. We acknowledged UKG Brunch's comments that the women shown in the videos were not associated with, and had not attended, their events. However, we considered that consumers would interpret the videos, when taken in combination with the superimposed text LEAVING A BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH LIKE206 and CASUALLY LEAVING A BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH, and links to where they could buy tickets to UKG Brunch's events, as an incitement to attend those events and drink excessively. Although we acknowledged that the posts were intended to provide light-hearted relief, we considered that they nonetheless encouraged excessive drinking by presenting binge drinking alcohol in a humorous light and by normalising and trivialising the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.

While we acknowledged that UKG Brunch had amended the relevant posts to state Drink Responsibly Guys!! (disclaimer: we don't condone irresponsible drinking) #drinkresponsibly, we considered that caption did not override the message of the ad. Because we considered that the ads and the amended versions of the ads would be interpreted by consumers as encouraging excessive drinking, we concluded that they had breached the Code.

The ads must not appear again in the form complained about. We Told UKG Brunch Ltd to ensure that that their future marketing communications relating to alcohol were socially responsible and did not imply, condone or encourage excessive consumption of alcohol.



Offsite Article: How the ASA became the new morality police...

Link Here9th June 2021
The advertising regulator wants to impose its woke worldview on the public. By Len Shackleton

See article from

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