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Grasping at Politically Correct Straws...

Advert censor whinges as William Hill advert featuring demurely sexy croupiers


Link Here26th June 2013

A TV ad for William Hill Live Casino opened with a close-up of a woman who opened her eyes and looked at the camera. The camera panned out then down, past the model's chest to a roulette wheel. She was wearing a basque-style top. The ad then showed a ball spinning around the roulette wheel and cut to a scene showing a large pile of gambling chips being pushed towards the viewer. The ad then showed playing cards and gambling chips flying through the air. The voice-over said, Experience a live casino like no other and the ad then showed several female croupiers in gold basque-type tops and male croupiers wearing suits. Issue

The Gambling Reform and Society Perception Group (GRASP) and one other complainant challenged whether the ad linked gambling to seduction.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that William Hill Online did not think the ad linked gambling with seduction. However, we noted the ad began with a close-up of a woman's eyes looking up from a gambling table and directly into the camera lens, which panned out from the woman's face while maintaining focus on her eyes. We considered the focus on her eyes was used to engage the viewer which could be interpreted as a signal of attraction. We also considered that as the camera panned down over the female croupier's decolletage, this enhanced the sense of seduction, which was further reinforced by the uniforms worn by all of the female croupiers. We understood that the basque-style tops were identical to those worn by the actual croupiers. However, we did not consider this to be a suitable justification for using them in the ad or showing sensual areas of the women's body.

We noted Clearcast's assertion that the ad did not show anyone gambling and so there was no link with seduction. However, we considered that it was clearly a gambling ad because of the roulette and black jack tables, playing cards and gambling chip visuals and the references to casino in the voice-over and on-screen text.

Because the ad opened with an engaging shot of the croupier's eyes, showed sensual areas of the women's body and because of the style of outfit worn, we concluded the ad linked gambling to seduction, which was a breach of the Code.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules 17.3 and 17.3.7 (Gambling).

 

 

Not Offensive in Any Way, Shape or Form...

ASA dismisses whinges about a Spearmint Rhino poster


Link Here22nd June 2013

A poster for Spearmint Rhino gentleman's club displayed images of two women visible from the waist up. One woman wore a small bikini top. The second image showed a woman wearing long gold gloves and a low cut top with most of her chest covered by her hair. Issue

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the ad was offensive and unsuitable for public display because of the sexual imagery and the nature of the advertised product; and

  2. the ad was irresponsible, because it appeared where it could be seen by children.

Spearmint Rhino said they had no issue with the ad because it was not offensive in any way, shape or form.

The publisher, Outdoor Plus said no placement restrictions were applied to the ad. They said the placement of the ad was suitable because it was not considered inappropriate.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted one model's pose was sultry but not excessively sexual and her hair covered most of her chest area. We noted the other model wore a small bikini, her pose revealed one side of her breast and her posture drew attention to her breasts. However, we considered the pose was unlikely to be regarded by most members of the public as anything more than mildly sexual in nature. Although we considered that some members of the public would find the image, and indeed the product it advertised, distasteful, we did not consider that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We noted the ad was not given a placement restriction and considered because the ad was sexually suggestive, rather than overtly sexual it was inappropriate for children to see and therefore it warranted a placement restriction to prevent it from being displayed within 100 m of schools. Because the ad was placed away from schools or business that provided children-based services, albeit unintentionally, we concluded the ad was not irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Why can't such inane complaints be dismissed out of hand?...

ASA dismisses whinge about dating advert featuring cartoon characters in uniforms


Link Here 19th June 2013

A TV ad for a dating website, wwwuniformdating.com, featured various animated characters including a fireman, policeman and a nurse. The voice-over stated, Things are hotting up at uniformdating.com. Do you work in uniform or just fancy those who do? Join uniformdating.com free now ... On-screen text stated 18+ only .

A complainant challenged whether the ad was scheduled appropriately, because it was seen on Film 4 during an afternoon broadcast of the film Honey, I Blew Up the Kids , when it could be seen by children.

Clearcast cleared the ad in 2010 with a restriction such that it was not transmitted in or adjacent to children's programmes or programmes directed at or likely to be of particular appeal to audiences below the age of 18 years. In 2012, that restriction was removed as they considered the content was unlikely to have particular appeal to under-18s.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA noted there were currently no scheduling restrictions applied to the ad. Although the ad featured animated characters in uniforms who were behaving flirtatiously, it did not include any explicit sexual references. We appreciated that some viewers might find the ad distasteful, but considered it was unlikely to be seen as unsuitable for them. We checked the audience index figures for the ad break and noted it did not attract a significant proportion of children. We therefore concluded that the ad was scheduled appropriately and did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under BCAP rule 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Addicted to a Miserable Life...

Alcohol Concern whinges that alcohol adverts should banned at sport and music events


Link Here13th June 2013

Miserablist campaigners from Alcohol Concern claim that alcohol advertising should be banned at music and sports events.

Alcohol Concern said that many young people recognised more alcohol brands than those of ice cream or cake products. It is calling for new rules on what alcohol adverts can mention and it also wants them banned in film trailers rated 15 or lower.

Alcohol Concern's report was based on research by its Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC) - a group of young people in England and Wales who review alcohol advertising and who whinge to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) when they discover content they deem to be irresponsible.

The report urged the ASA to operate in a more proactive way , instead of depending on complaints from the public before looking into advertising code breaches. The ASA should be able to levy meaningful sanctions including fines for serious non-compliance, it added.

In a statement, the ASA said:

It was not unheard of for an anti-alcohol lobby group to call for further restrictions on advertising. The ASA will continue to take a proportionate approach, regulating effectively alcohol ads across media, including online, against strict rules that are designed to protect young people.

The Department of Health's own figures show, encouragingly, that fewer young people are drinking.

 

 

Grasping for Attention...

ASA dismisses whinges about online bingo advert with topless men


Link Here12th June 2013

A poster ad for Wink Bingo, which appeared on the side of a bus, featured topless men smiling and pointing towards text stating £ 35 FREE* Go on ... you know you want to .

The Gambling Reform & Society Perception Group (GRASP) challenged whether the use of semi-naked athletic men, in conjunction with the claim Go on ... you know you want to , linked gambling to seduction and enhanced attractiveness.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

Whilst the ad featured an image of a group of topless men with athletic torsos, the ASA noted they were not positioned in a sexually suggestive or sexually provocative way but were shown smiling happily whilst pointing towards the text on the ad. Whilst we understood GRASP considered that, alongside the image, the call to action Go on ... you know you want to further implied a link between gambling and sexual success, we considered that within the context of the ad it would be understood by consumers merely as an encouragement by the ad and by the featured Dream Idols to take advantage of the ?35 free offer. We considered that the ad did not directly or by implication create a link between gambling and seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness and therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code on those grounds.

We considered the ad under CAP Code rule 16.3.8 but did not find it in breach.

 

 

The Cream of Political Correctness...

Advert censor bans sexy TV advert for CrazyDomains


Link Here5th June 2013

A TV ad, for the domain and web hosting company CrazyDomains, opened in an office boardroom full of men, with the actress Pamela Anderson, who was wearing a buttoned suit jacket over an unbuttoned white shirt, chairing the meeting. She said, To the next item on the agenda. Gentlemen, if we want this business to stay on top, we need to be at the forefront of the Internet. One of the men (Adam) was shown nodding his head.

Anderson's assistant (Vanessa, who was dressed similarly to Anderson) poured her a cup of coffee and asked if she wanted cream. When pouring the cream, Vanessa's cleavage became visible to Adam, who began to fantasise about Anderson and Vanessa dancing in bikinis while covered in cream. A close-up shot of Anderson was then shown, calling out for Adam in a suggestive manner. Adam snapped out of his fantasy when Anderson called his name in a stern tone. She asked him, What are we going to do about our web address? to which he responded hesitantly, Crazy... Domains.co.uk? Anderson said. Very good, Adam before the final scene showed Vanessa leaning beside Adam pouring a cup of coffee, revealing her cleavage again.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a timing restriction such that it should not be broadcast before 9pm. Issue

Four viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive, because they considered it sexist and degrading to women.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA understood that the ad was intended as a parody of a mundane business meeting and was intended to be humorous and light-hearted. Whilst we noted Dreamscape Networks' and Clearcast's comments about the female characters being portrayed as strong, confident business women, we considered that they were also portrayed sexually throughout the ad, not just during the fantasy sequence. We noted that even though they were wearing business attire, their shirts were buttoned down so that they were exposing their bras and cleavages. Furthermore, during the fantasy sequence, they were seen dancing and writhing around in cream whilst wearing bikinis. Although the fantasy scene, which we considered was sexually suggestive, was limited to Adam's imagination, we considered it gave the impression that he viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after. Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers on the basis that it was sexist and degrading to women.

The ad breached BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence).

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

 

 

We take all the complaints seriously...But...

For once ASA quickly dismisses puerile whinges about Ikea gnomes advert


Link Here30th May 2013

An Ikea advert showing a couple using vaguely violent methods to kill off garden gnomes has drawn dozens of whinges from viewers.

Ikea's Say No To Gnomes campaign features a family updating the look of their garden with new products, only to find the upset gnomes launching a revenge attack.

The couple fight back, kicking them across the garden and into a pond before using a hammock to hurl them against the fence. The woman finally aims a jet of hose water at an assembled mob, smashing them into pieces.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it received nearly 50 complaints ludicrously claiming that the ad was offensive, unsuitable for children, frightening, violent and encouraged emulation and anti-social behaviour. The ASA responded:

As a starting point, we take all the complaints we receive seriously. However, just because an ad has prompted a negative reaction amongst some viewers does not mean that we will automatically investigate.

We didn't take any further action on this occasion.

While we appreciated that the ad would not be to everyone's taste, we thought it was clearly fanciful and light-hearted. We also didn't share the view that it would encourage or condone violence or anti-social behaviour and was unlikely to upset children.

 

 

ASA Don't Like Puerile Whinges...

Advert censors dismisses complaints about underwear ads on the underground


Link Here22nd May 2013

Two outdoor posters on the London Underground for Figleaves.com, an online underwear retailer:

  • a. A poster featured a blonde woman wearing a red bra and knickers, standing with her hands on her hips and looking suggestively towards the camera. The phrase LIKE ME? in large, pink letters was stamped across the middle of the poster, and VOTE FOR ME in smaller letters appeared in the top left-hand corner. The ad included social media links and Figleaves website address.
     
  • b. A poster featured a man in red boxer shorts looking suggestively towards the camera. The phrase LIKE ME? in large, red letters was stamped across the middle of the poster, and VOTE FOR ME in smaller letters in the top left-hand corner. Social media links and a web address were included. Issue

The ASA received four complaints.

  1. Three complainants challenged whether ad (a) was unsuitable for display where children could see it.
  2. One of those complainants challenged whether ad (b) was unsuitable for display where children could see it.
  3. Two complainants challenged whether ad (a) was offensive because they believed it degraded women by portraying them as sexual objects.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. & 2. Not upheld

The ASA noted the ads were for a lingerie company and we recognised that their advertising would understandably feature a model wearing lingerie. In this instance, the female model was wearing a matching bra and knickers set and the male model was wearing boxer shorts. The ads did not show nudity and the images were relevant to Figleaves, although we understood that the ads may not appeal to everyone.

We noted the ads only appeared alongside escalators on the Tube or opposite Tube train platforms. The Facebook branding appeared in the posters and we considered that the vast majority of the adult audience were likely to be familiar with the concept of Liking brands on Facebook and likely to make that connection when they saw the ads. Facebook required account holders to be 13 years of age or over and because of that, we considered younger children may not understand that connection. Notwithstanding that, we considered the strap line LIKE ME? was unlikely to be seen by children as one about the models' attractiveness or sexuality.

We considered the expression in both models' eyes and their poses were no more than mildly sexual and as such, we considered the ads were not unsuitable to be displayed where they could be seen by children. We noted Figleaves had applied a 100 m placement restriction on the ads, which we considered more than adequate. We therefore concluded their placement was not socially irresponsible.

On these points, we investigated both ads under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find them in breach.

3. Not upheld

The ad did not include anything which was overtly sexual and as stated above, we considered that the vast majority of the adult audience were likely to understand the connection between LIKE ME? and Facebook. We considered the strap line together with the image in ad (a) was unlikely to be seen as portraying women as sexual objects to be desired. We therefore concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Update: Good Clean Fun...

ASA dismisses whinges about a series of Lynx shower gel adverts


Link Here2nd May 2013

Seventeen interactive ads on video on demand (VOD), on You Tube and Facebook, and cinema screens for Lynx shower gel.

Eg VOD ads:

a. An ad showed five women with the voice-over referring to each one in turn as either party girl , high maintenance girl , brainy girl , flirty girl or sporty girl . The screen became static showing pictures of the five women with their names next to them. Text stated WHAT'S YOUR TYPE? CLICK ON A GIRL TO SEE HER FILM. KEEP UP WITH LYNX SHOWER GELS .

b. Clicking on PARTY GIRL took the viewer through to a video ad showing a man and woman dancing in a domestic setting. The voice-over stated, If you're the kind of guy who finds himself still up at 7.30 am dancing in the smouldering wreckage of his apartment, you're probably going out with a party girl. Keep going and she'll grant you access to her VIP area. Keep going with Lynx Fever. On-screen text stated KEEP YOUR PARTY GIRL HAPPY .

17 complainants saw the ads on various media

  1. All 17 complainants considered the ads were sexist, objectified women and were demeaning to women, and challenged whether the ads were offensive.

  2. Four of the complainants also challenged whether the ads were offensive, because they portrayed men as sexually obsessed, manipulative and devious.

Unilever said the cinema ads were given a U rating, with the exception of Party Girl which was given a PG rating. They said two of the VOD executions were given a post 7.30pm timing restriction which they said demonstrated the clearance bodies believed the ads were suitable for viewing by a broad audience.

Unilever believed the ads had been prepared with a sense of responsibility and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. They believed the number of complaints received (17) compared to the number of people who saw the ad - which was 10.4 million impressions across VOD and paid-for online space, and a combined audience of approximately 19 million people at the cinema - was very small. They believed that showed the ads had not caused serious or widespread offence.

Facebook reviewed the ads and were satisfied that they complied with their applications policy.

YouTube said none of the ads would have violated their advertising policies.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not Upheld

1. Not Upheld

The ASA understood the ads' scenarios were based on the two ideas that people have certain types to whom they are attracted and that in the early stages of dating, everyone adapts their behaviour to some extent in order to impress their partner. The women were identified as one of five types based on their interests and the viewers or cinema audience (whereby the cinema recorded which ad received the most cheers from the audience) could choose to see an ad based on the type of girl in whom they were interested.

Complainants were concerned that the women appeared to be treated as sexual objects which could be chosen and their treatment in the ads was degrading. In the context of dating, we considered viewers were likely to see the ads as illustrating that some people were attracted to others with particular traits, characteristics or interests; something with which we considered viewers would be familiar. While the idea of choosing a type may be distasteful, in the context of the ads the women were unlikely to be seen as objects and therefore, we considered on that basis, the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ads were told from the man's perspective of the date and commented on the dynamic of the couple's relationship. However, the women were not depicted in a negative light and they were not shown in an overtly sexual manner. The ads referred to the sexuality of the couple's relationship using innuendo to infer that if the men acted in a certain way they would be rewarded sexually. We recognised that the humour would not be to everyone's taste but we concluded the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Not Upheld

We understood the ads were intended to present an exaggerated view of dating from a male perspective during which the men adapted their behaviour to impress their girlfriends. Some complainants believed the ads portrayed men in a negative light showing them to be sexually obsessed and behaving in a devious and manipulative way.

We noted the ads showed each of the men doing things they may not willingly choose to do in order to impress their girlfriends with the ultimate goal that they would be rewarded sexually. We considered their behaviour in that context would be seen by some viewers as portraying men in a negative light. However, as mentioned above in point one, we considered that humour would not appeal to everyone and that some viewers may find it crass. Nonetheless, we considered the scenarios played out in the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to viewers.

On both points, we investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.1 (Harm and offence) and 30.3 (VOD appendix) but did not find them in breach.

 

 

Oops We've Done It Again...

Table dancing Club Oops gets a second poster banned by the advert censor


Link Here1st May 2013

A poster, seen on various telephone boxes in East London, stated New Club Oops..! Bar & Club ... Corporate Gentleman's Entertainment Attitude & Class Does Matter...! . The ad featured an image in negative of a woman from the waist down who, with the exception of high heels and a visible underwear waistband, appeared to be naked. Issue

  1. Four complainants challenged whether the poster was offensive, sexist and degrading to women.

  2. Two complainants challenged whether the poster was unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children. One complainant stated the poster had been placed within 100 m of a primary school.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Club Oops's recent advertising campaign had come to an end and that InFocus Media had agreed to remove the remaining few posters which still appeared.

We noted that the image just showed the lower half of a woman, from the waist down, naked except for some high heels and an underwear waistband. Whilst the image showed the woman wearing underwear, we noted that her buttocks were clearly visible, and considered that the image was provocative and sexually suggestive.

In addition, we considered that a number of consumers were likely to believe that the image of just the lower half of a woman was unduly explicit and degrading to women. We considered the image was overtly sexual in nature and was likely to cause serious and widespread offence. We therefore concluded that it was unsuitable for public display, especially where it could be seen by children.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

 

 

ASA's Top 10 Adverts of 2012...

ASA publishes its annual report covering activities in 2012


Link Here1st May 2013

The Annual report speaks little of censorship issues beyond a few general paragraphs about pandering to the sexualisationists, particularly for outdoor advertising.

The ASA continue to provide the their 10 best adverts of the year as judged by votes from whingers. Note that this year the numbers may be reduced because the ASA web page for complaints, now indicates when the ASA has received enough complaints (about 100) about a particular advert.

  1. Gocompare.com

    1008 complaints: Not upheld

    This TV ad, one of a series for the price comparison website, featured the former footballer Stuart Pearce kicking a football into the stomach of an opera singer. We ruled that the ad was not offensive, irresponsible or harmful, because the ad was not explicit or gruesome, and would be seen as light-hearted and comical.
     
  2. Gocompare.com

    797 complaints: Not upheld

    Another TV ad for the price comparison website, this time featuring Sue Barker taking aim and shooting the main character with a rocket launcher. We ruled the ads was not offensive or harmful because it showed over-the-top and fantastical behaviour and would be seen as light-hearted and comical. We also noted that the main character was shown unharmed at the end of the ad.
     
  3. ASDA

    620 complaints: Not upheld

    This TV ad, which featured a mother carrying out various tasks in preparation for Christmas, prompted complaints it was sexist. We did not uphold the complaints. We also rejected complaints that the ad was offensive to single fathers or men who played a primary domestic role. We thought the ad reflected ASDA's view of the Christmas experience for a significant number of their customers.
     
  4. Channel Four

    373 complaints: Upheld in part

    A series of ads for the TV programme My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, appearing on posters and in national and regional press and magazines, prompted complaints that they were offensive, racist and unfairly denigrated and degraded Gypsy and Traveller communities. After a request from the Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications to re-open our investigation, we agreed that some of the images together with the accompanying text were offensive and irresponsible.
     
  5. Kerry Foods

    371 complaints: Upheld in part

    We did not uphold complaints that the nudity in a TV ad for Richmond Ham was offensive. However, we agreed with complainants that referring to the product as Britain's only ham would be interpreted as meaning the product was British in origin, when that was not the case.
     
  6. Paddy Power

    311 complaints: Out of remit

    We received complaints that an online ad on Paddy Power's YouTube channel was offensive to members of the transgender community. The channel was registered in Ireland, and so it fell outside of our remit. We did however uphold a small number of complaints about the same ad which appeared on TV.
     
  7. (= 7th) Kellogg's

    234 complaints: Not upheld

    We did not uphold complaints that a TV ad for breakfast cereal showing a man being attacked by a snake was unduly distressing. We acknowledged that some viewers might find the theme of the ad distasteful, but that most would view it as comical rather than graphic.
     
  8. (= 7th) Wm Morrison Supermarkets

    234 complaints: Not upheld

    This TV ad prompted a number of complaints that it was irresponsible and harmful because it implied that it was acceptable to feed Christmas pudding to dogs. We didn't think the ad implied it was acceptable to copy this behaviour, as the dog did not eat the pudding. Also dog owners would be aware of the toxicity of grapes, raisins and other foods to their pets
     
  9. Kayak Software Corporation

    189 complaints: Upheld in part

    We ruled that this TV ad showing a man receiving brain surgery would be likely to cause distress without justifiable reason especially to viewers who had been affected by the type of operation depicted in the ad. We did not uphold complaints that the ad was offensive in general.
     
  10. St John Ambulance

    144 complaints: Not upheld

    We did not uphold the complaints about this TV ad, which showed a man and his family coping with his diagnosis, treatment and eventual recovery from cancer, only for him to die by choking to death on a piece of food. Although distressing in its portrayal, we felt the overall message of the ad (that the relatively simple techniques of first aid could avoid sudden tragedy), was justifiable.

 

 

Whingers Give it Their Best Shot...

ASA clears heavily edited advert for Bullet to the Head shown during sports programmes


Link Here26th April 2013

A TV ad featured various scenes from the film Bullet to the Head including Sylvester Stallone shooting a gun and blowing up vehicles. Another scene showed Stallone and another man preparing to fight each other with axes. Stallone was also shown kicking something aggressively and aiming and shooting a gun at something off-screen. The voice-over stated, On February 1st, it's killer versus killer. Sylvester Stallone is back to his best. Bullet to The Head. In cinemas February 1st. Issue

Seven complainants objected that the ad was inappropriately scheduled at a time when it might be seen by children.

Clearcast said the ad was given an ex-kids restriction and that this was achieved after a lot of editing of versions of the ad which had been given a post 21.00 or a post 19.30 restriction. They believed this was an appropriate restriction and was in line with offerings from other stars like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwartzenegger which had recently been approved.

Assessment: Complaints not upheld

We noted the ad was given an ex-kids restriction which meant it should not be broadcast around programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal to persons below the age of 16. Whilst the complainants reported that their children had seen the ad during sports programming, football matches and other programming, audience figures for those programmes showed that the vast majority of viewers were over 16. We therefore considered that the given restriction had been correctly applied by the broadcasters.

The ad featured an actor made famous during action films of the 1980s. We considered that whilst the film might have been of particular appeal to viewers who had watched those films during that decade, he would be unfamiliar to any children who may be watching and therefore the film and the ad were unlikely to be of appeal to them.

The ad featured images of shooting, fighting and explosions and whilst they were presented realistically, the images were fleeting and no one was shown to be physically hurt through any of the actions. We acknowledged that some viewers found the ad unsuitable for broadcast when their children were watching, but concluded that the ex-kids restriction was sufficient.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Only Suitable for Ex-Kids...

ASA finds that TV adverts for Texas Chainsaw should have played later in the evening


Link Here25th April 2013

Eleven TV ads, a radio ad, a poster and an internet display ad, for the film Texas Chainsaw 3D. Examples:

a. The first TV ad, which lasted 10 seconds, started with a record spinning followed by a close-up of a man's hands holding a needle in front of a desk. On the desk was a set of false teeth, and a mirror which reflected the lower part of a man's face. A clip showed a man pulling a mask over his face, followed by on-screen text which stated IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN . Footage showed a bloodied chainsaw being taken from a shelf, followed by a metal sliding door slamming shut. Text on a bloodied background stated TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D .

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with an ex-kids restriction.

i. The ninth TV ad, which lasted 20 seconds, began with a blonde woman running through a field and onto a road and attempting to flag down a car. A female voice sobbed He was trying to kill me . On-screen text stated 1974 . Footage showed the same woman with cuts and blood on her head, screaming, followed by a man holding a chainsaw over his head. On-screen text stated 2013 . A clip showed a metal sliding door slamming shut, followed by a man's figure silhouetted by the lights of a vehicle and the sound of a chainsaw. A man's voice said, Did you get a good look at him? A woman in a striped top said, He was wearing a face, a human face as clips showed a box containing wires being opened, a close-up of a man's hands holding a needle in front of a desk, and a man pulling a mask over his face. On-screen text stated THE MOST ... CELEBRATED ... HORROR FRANCHISE ... LIVES ON . A series of short clips, interposed between the text, showed: a close-up of a chainsaw; a man and a woman standing in front of a building, with the man saying Who is that? ; a vehicle being driven through the wall of a building where a woman and a man holding a spade were standing; a man with a chainsaw approaching a woman; a woman screaming; a man using a chainsaw to cut through a wire fence; the woman in the striped top standing against a wire fence looking scared; a policeman standing in front of a house which was on fire; a man dragging a woman along the ground; a figure with a chainsaw running through a crowded fairground at night; and a man using a bloodied chainsaw to smash in the window of a vehicle with two women screaming inside. The sounds of women screaming and a chainsaw were heard over the latter clips. Footage then showed a woman with her arms tied up above her, from behind, with a chainsaw being held against her shoulder, and then a clip of her from the front, gagged with gaffer tap and screaming. Text on a bloodied background stated TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D .

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a post-9pm restriction.

The ASA received 73 complaints:

  1. Complainants challenged whether ads were distressing, harmful, offensive and inappropriately scheduled.
  2. One complainant challenged whether the poster ad was offensive, inappropriate for public display and likely to condone or encourage violence.
  3. One complainant challenged whether the internet display ad was inappropriate for display on a webpage which advertised a PG-rated film.

ASA Decision: Complaints Upheld in Part

The ASA acknowledged that ads (a) to (d) did not include any scenes of interpersonal violence and did not include any sound effects of screaming or noises which suggested interpersonal violence. However, we noted ads (b) and (c) showed a close-up of a woman screaming in a darkly lit, enclosed space, that ad (c) included a voice-over of the woman stating He was wearing a face, a human face as footage showed a man putting a mask to his face, and ad (d) showed clips of a policeman standing watching a house which was engulfed in flames and a vehicle being driven through a wall towards two people (and towards the viewer). We considered it likely that those scenes could cause distress to young children. Furthermore, we considered the use of swift cuts, darkly lit scenes and eerie music and sound effects created a sinister, threatening and tension-filled atmosphere in all four ads which was likely to cause distress to young children. Whilst we noted the ads had been given an ex-kids restriction and therefore had not been broadcast around programmes of particular appeal to children, we considered that they were inappropriate for broadcast during the day when young children might be watching, and ads (a) to (d) should therefore have been given a post-7.30pm timing restriction.

Complaints upheld in relation to ads (i) and (j) only. We considered all three ads featured scenes of violence and terror and had a sinister and threatening atmosphere produced by the swift cuts, sound effects and largely dark and poorly lit scenes. We acknowledged that the post-9pm timing restrictions meant it was unlikely that younger children would be exposed to the ads. However, we considered that the scenes in ads (i) and (j) which depicted a woman who was bound, gagged and terrified, screaming as a chainsaw was placed on her shoulder, were likely to distress some older children, because of the implication of extreme violence and torture. We therefore considered ads (i) and (j) should have been given a post-11pm timing restriction. We also considered the scenes in ads (i) and (j) were likely to be more in keeping with programme content seen after 11pm and we therefore considered those ads should not have been broadcast before 11pm in order to reduce the likelihood of causing offence or distress to adults.

All other complaints were dismissed

 

 

Update: It's ASA's Mind That's the Problem...

Advert censor bans adverts for Pussy energy drink


Link Here24th April 2013

Two posters and a website promoted an energy drink:

a. A poster, which appeared in various locations across the UK, stated pussy in large, bold text in the centre of the ad. Smaller text below stated The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem". Text on an image of the product stated "pussy natural energy" and text below the image stated "100% Natural Energy".

b. A second poster, which also appeared in various locations across the UK, stated "Outrageous" in large, bold text in the centre of the ad. Smaller text below stated "An energy drink that actually tastes good". Large text to the left of the headline stated "pussy" and smaller text below stated "NATURAL ENERGY 100% Natural Ingredients".

c. Claims on www.pussydrinks.com stated "THE DRINK'S PURE It's your mind that's the problem. 100% Natural Energy". Smaller text at the bottom of the home page stated "Our goal is Global Pussyfication and we aim to bring Pussy within everyone's reach" and invited those interested in distributing the product to contact them.

There were 156 complainants about the ads.

  1. Most complainants challenged whether ad (a) was offensive, because they considered it implied a sexually explicit reference. Some complainants also considered it was derogatory, sexist and degrading towards women.
  2. Some complainants also challenged whether ad (b) was offensive, on the same basis.
  3. Two complainants challenged whether ad (a) was offensive to those with religious beliefs and was unsuitable to be displayed near to a church.
  4. Many complainants also challenged whether ad (a) was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.
  5. Some complainants challenged whether ad (b) was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.
  6. Two complainants challenged whether ad (c) was offensive, because it implied a sexually explicit reference, was derogatory, sexist and degrading towards women.

ASA Assessment

2,3,5,6: Not upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA considered that some consumers would recognise that the term "pussy" had both a conventional and slang meaning and could therefore be understood to colloquially refer to the female genitals, as well as retaining the traditional meaning of 'cat or kitten. We noted that ad (a) stated The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem and considered that the ad consciously made reference to the dual meaning of the word pussy, including its colloquial meaning, which some would consider sexually explicit, as well as showing an awareness that the colloquial use of the term pussy might be considered impure or problematic, and could therefore cause offence.

We acknowledged that 63 complainants had objected that the term pussy was, in itself, a derogatory and sexist term, which was particularly offensive to women. Although we considered that the colloquial meaning of pussy could be understood to be a sexually explicit term, we noted that the way in which the term pussy was used in the ads did not make express reference to women, beyond its colloquial meaning denoting the female genitals. We did not consider that ad (a) made particular reference to the behaviour or portrayal of women and, therefore, did not consider that, in that context, ad (a) was likely to be interpreted by most consumers as referring to or portraying women in a derogatory or sexist way.

However, we nonetheless concluded that because ad (a) made express reference to the dual meaning of the word pussy , it would be understood to be intended as a sexually explicit reference which, in the context in which it appeared in ad (a), was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

On that point, ad (a) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

4. Upheld

We noted that there were no restrictions on the placement of ad (a) and it would be seen by children of all ages, but considered that very young children were unlikely to be aware of the colloquial meaning of pussy . We considered, however, that some older children were likely to know and understand that colloquial meaning or be aware that the term had a secondary meaning which had a different connotation or impact than simply meaning cat or kitten .

We noted that the slogan in ad (a) stated The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem and considered that strongly suggested that the term pussy had a secondary meaning which was not pure and was a problem , and considered that slogan reinforced the colloquial meaning of pussy to those older children or implied that that secondary, colloquial meaning was in some way impolite or even offensive or sexually explicit.

We therefore considered that because ad (a) made express reference to the dual meaning of the word pussy , it would be understood by some older children to be intended as an offensive or sexually explicit reference, and concluded that ad (a) was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.

On that point, ad (a) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

 

 

About As Scary as Scooby Doo...

ASA dismisses whinges about ghostly TV advert


Link Here20th April 2013

A TV ad for a discount voucher website featured a group of young women exploring a dark old house. On-screen text stated 50% OFF GHOST TOURS whilst the girls, who appeared to be frightened, entered a room and saw a pale female ghost with her arms outstretched saying Wowcher in an eerie voice. The girls were shown screaming and running from the room. The ghost was then shown looking down at herself with a confused expression. On-screen text stated 80% OFF SPRAY TANS . The ad then showed a woman in front of her laptop and the voice-over stated, What will make you say 'Wowcher'? Join wowocher.co.uk for free and we'll email you a different deal every day. Get a wow a day at wowcher.co.uk .

Two complainants, whose young children had been upset by the ad, objected that it had been inappropriately scheduled at a time when it was likely to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted the ad presented the ghost, and the girls' reaction to it, in an exaggerated and theatrical way and that it was clear from the presentation that it posed no real threat to them and that they were not genuinely scared. Furthermore, any potential fear previously created from the ghost's initial appearance was removed when the character looked disappointed at its own appearance and the entire image was replaced with bright colours and a woman happily using her computer. We considered that many children would be used to programmes such as Scooby-Doo and therefore considered the comic presentation of ghosts and monsters, and the exaggerated fear of them, was something that they were likely to be familiar with.

Although we acknowledged that some very young viewers might find the theme unsettling, we did not consider that the content or scheduling of the ad was likely to cause distress to children.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence), 5.1 (Children) and 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Old School Censorship...

ASA bans dating site advert alluding to schoolgirls


Link Here18th April 2013

An ad that appeared on Facebook was headed, Older Men Wanted . Text below read, datematures.com. Browse local singles who are looking to date Older Men Only at Date Matures! Next to this text was a picture of a young woman wearing what appeared to be a school uniform: her head and upper torso in frame; what was visible of her shirt was unbuttoned and the tie was hanging loosely around her neck.

The complainant, who believed the intention of the ad was to portray the model as a school aged child, challenged whether the ad was offensive, harmful and irresponsible.

Mate1.com Inc did not respond to our enquiries.

Facebook said the ad was in violation of their Advertising Guidelines and had been disabled, as had any other ads using the same image. They had also issued the advertiser with a warning.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

We noted the model in the ad appeared to be wearing a school uniform with the shirt unbuttoned, revealing her upper chest. We considered the model would be understood by readers as being of school age, due to her youthful appearance and the impression that she was wearing a school uniform.

In the context of the other claims in the ad, Older Men Wanted , datemature.com and Browse local singles who are looking to date Older Men Only at Date Matures! , and the fact that the ad appeared on a social networking site, we considered that the image was irresponsible because it could be understood as an allusion to, and encouragement of, the so-called grooming of young children. For these same reasons we considered that the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

Under CAP Code rule 5.1, ads featuring children must contain nothing that is likely to result in their physical, mental or moral harm and under rule 5.1.1, children must not be encouraged to enter strange places or talk to strangers . Although the ad appeared to be targeting Older Men , we considered the implication that young children could also join the dating service, in order to meet older men, was a breach of these Code rules.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.1 (Harm and offence) and 5.1 and 5.1.1 (Children).

 

 

Update: I Despair...

Advert censor claims ludicrous widespread offence about trivially sexy fishing advert


Link Here17th April 2013

An ad for Esselle Pole Repairs seen in Match Fishing magazine was headed BROKEN YOUR POLE? and featured an image of a woman, seen from behind, wearing only a bra and thong. Her hands were placed on her buttocks, and half of a broken pole was in each hand. A red CENSORED sign was placed over part of the image to obscure the woman's buttocks. Further text stated DON'T DESPAIR WE CAN REPAIR! Crushed or broken sections, split or worn joints, full pole refurbishment. All repairs using high-grade carbon cloth and fully guaranteed .

One complainant challenged whether:

  1. the ad was offensive, because it was overtly sexual and demeaning to women, particularly those who were interested in angling, and because it bore no relationship to the service advertised; and

  2. the ad was irresponsible, because it was inappropriately placed in a magazine that might be read by children.

Esselle Pole Repairs said they covered up the image in the ad with the word CENSORED after a previous complaint about the ad, without this word, had been Upheld by the ASA. They did not believe the ad or the image was offensive. They said the placing of the word meant it was difficult to make out the image of the woman behind it, you could not clearly see what she was wearing, and the only parts of her body on show were her shoulder and leg. They did not believe the word censored could be overtly sexual, demeaning to women or irresponsible.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA considered that, although large text stating CENSORED was placed vertically across it, the image in the ad was clearly of woman wearing only a bra and thong shown from behind. We considered that the text drew attention to the woman's bottom and that, although it was not sexually explicit, the image had sexual connotations. It bore no real relevance to the advertised services, and we considered it was likely to be seen to degrade and demean women by linking pole-dancing to fishing-pole repairs. We concluded the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some people.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We noted the complainant had previously purchased the magazine for her young daughter, who was involved in a junior angling club. We considered it likely that children would represent only a small proportion of the readership of the magazine but nonetheless considered that the ad was not suitable to be published in a magazine where it could be viewed by children. We therefore concluded the ad was irresponsible.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising).

 

 

Updated: Sexy American Apparel...

ASA ludicrously claim more widespread offence of 1 person


Link Here12th April 2013
Full story: American Apparel...Sexy clothing adverts wind up the advert censors

Images on the advertising page of the American Apparel website www.americanapparel.net included:

a. Under the heading Bodysuits and Thigh-Highs , six images of a female in a black lycra bodysuit and blue thigh high socks. The model was on a bed and her face was not shown. One of the shots showed her from the chest down and the other five were from the area around the waist or lower. In two of the shots the model was depicted from the front and had her legs open and another showed her from behind in a kneeling position. The other three images showed her from the side, either in a kneeling or reclining position.

b. Along with the text Meet Trudy. Trudy is a St. Louis native who has been travelling for the company since 2009 as a store consultant. Her hobbies include vintage buying as well as singing and dancing to 90's R&B. She is photographed here wearing the Unisex Oversized Fisherman Turtleneck Sweater . The model was shown from the side wearing only a jumper. Her bottom half appeared naked and she was reclining on a bed with her legs in the air.

A complainant, who believed the models appeared vulnerable, challenged whether:

  • ad (a) was offensive, because she believed it was overtly sexual and objectified women; and

  • ad (b) was offensive, because she believed it was overtly sexual. CAP Code (Edition 12)

ASA Assessment: 1. & 2. Complaint upheld

The ASA noted ad (a) did not show the model's face and that the scenes, which showed her on a bed, emphasised her groin and buttocks as well as focusing on her breasts, albeit they were covered. Although we considered it was reasonable for ads for hosiery to feature women in limited clothing, we considered the images and the model's poses were gratuitous. We considered the images were overtly sexual and that they demeaned women by emphasising the model's groin, buttocks and breasts and by not including her face.

We noted the woman in ad (b) was fully clothed on her top half but that she was also on a bed and her bottom half appeared naked. Her buttocks were visible, with her legs raised. We considered the image to be gratuitous, particularly in an ad for knitwear. We also considered the model's facial expression appeared blank, if not unsure, and were concerned that she appeared vulnerable. We considered the image was overtly sexual.

We considered there was a voyeuristic quality to the images, which served to heighten the impression that the women were vulnerable and in sexually provocative poses. For the reasons given, we considered the ads were likely to cause serious offence to visitors to American Apparel's website. We concluded that they breached the Code.

The ads breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

Update: American Apparel respond

12th April 2013. See  article from  racked.com

An anonymous source from AA's corporate team told racked.com they think the ASA is looking for publicity by singling them out:

We'd like to shoot down the idea that American Apparel is trying to make ads that get banned for publicity. It's the other way around. The ASA grandstands on the AA name to get publicity and that's why they repeatedly come after the company. I think the fact that the 'ads' in this case weren't even ads but images on our website makes that pretty clear. How can this agency have any say over what a company displays on its site? We've been doing these ads for 10 years. Who are they to say what is and isn't appropriate?

From what we hear, the ASA is stepping stone for politicians and such in the UK. So it's a nice way to get press, going after things no one would really want to defend. If you think about it, it's a pretty alarming precedent. A non-government agency decides not only what is or isn't ok, but they decide what is or isn't an ad. In this case, americanapparel.net is an ad, and their means of enforcing the rules are quarterly press releases. The media LOVES this stuff and the ASA knows it. We don't even run into this kind of trouble in China with our ads. It's nuts.

 

 

ASA Gets its Shit Together...

Advert censor clears the use of the word 'sh!t' in a subscription email by Urban Outfitters


Link Here11th April 2013

An e-mail from retailer Urban Outfitters, stated SORT OUT YOUR SH!T FOR 2013 with NEW AWESOME EVERYTHING ... . Further text stated WATCH THIS SH!T next to an image of a cat peering into its litter tray in which 2013 was written in excrement. Issue

A complainant challenged whether the language and imagery of cat excrement was offensive.

URBN UK Ltd, trading as Urban Outfitters, said they were a trendy and fashionable clothing line with a street style attitude brand and that their customers were trend setting, creative individuals with a sense of humour and who liked to experiment. They also said customer surveys had ascertained that their key demographic was between the ages of 18 and 25 years.

The ad was sent to their mailing list, which customers had to have signed up for and which they believed were likely to consist entirely of their core demographic. They said, although SH!T was a clear reference to the word SHIT , it was a less offensive spelling. The phrase SORT YOU SH!T OUT FOR 2013 WITH NEW AWESOME EVERYTHING! Referred to the common slang phrase get your shit together which meant getting yourself organised and that shit, in this context, referred to belongings or thoughts. They said their core demographic would not find the phrase offensive, because they believed it was commonly used in their everyday language and frequently appeared in other media.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA considered that the references to SH!T were obvious derivatives of the swear word shit and that their intended meaning was clear. We considered that, while the language may have been considered distasteful, it was relatively mild. We also considered that readers were likely to interpret the image of cat excrement as a visual reference to the claims SORT OUT YOUR SH!T... and WATCH THIS SH!T and, while some may have considered it distasteful, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We had not seen any data regarding Urban Outfitters' mailing list but several press articles suggested that their core demographic were students and young adults and we noted that their website, which was one of the means of signing up to the mailing list, clearly targeted a young adult audience. Although we considered that consumers generally would not expect to receive material that included expletives by virtue of signing up to a clothing retailer's mailing list, we considered that the e-mail was unlikely to seriously offend recipients who had signed up to the Urban Outfitters' mailing list or to cause widespread offence amongst them.

We investigated under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Oops! Wrong Location...

Poster for London table dancing club too sexy for the advert censors


Link Here4th April 2013

A billboard poster promoting a gentleman's club stated Bar & Club ... Club Oops ...! Corporate Gentleman's Entertainment ... Attitude & Class Does Matter ...! ... www.cluboops.co.uk . The ad included images of women in negative. One woman was shown in her underwear and another was naked with her body in profile. The ad also showed an image of a naked woman from the waist down with underwear pulled down around her thighs. Issue

Three complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive, demeaning to women and unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children.

Club Spice Ltd t/a Club Oops spoke to the ASA by telephone and said they believed that their agency, which had designed the ad and chosen the locations where it was displayed, was at fault. They said they would remove the poster and assumed that would resolve the matter

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Club Oops intended to remove the ad from the site in question. We noted that one woman was shown in her underwear and the other two women were shown naked, one in profile and one from the waist down with her underwear around her thighs. We considered that the poses of all three women, and in particular the image of the woman from the waist down, were provocative and likely to be seen as sexually suggestive. In addition, we considered that a number of consumers were likely to believe that the image of just the lower half of a woman was unduly explicit and degrading to women. We considered that the ad was overtly sexual in nature and was likely to cause serious and widespread offence. We therefore concluded that the ad was unsuitable for public display, especially where it could be seen by children.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence). Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

 

 

Chilling Effects...

Flyer for Leeds bar rings more or less all of ASA's PC bells


Link Here3rd April 2013

A leaflet, for Chilli White bar in Leeds, featured 12 different images including: a monkey smoking a cigarette; a man wearing an American flag shirt and baseball cap; a woman in a bra taking a photograph of herself; a woman in a bear costume with her breasts exposed; a woman in an open baseball jacket that revealed her cleavage; the thighs and stomach of a naked woman whose crotch was obscured by a martini glass; a woman with her mouth open pouring a clear liquid into her mouth from a bottle; the head and torso of a naked woman with her back (which was tattooed) to the camera; and a woman wearing denim shorts and riding a skateboard. Text stated FREE BOMB WITH EVERY DRINK little miss EVERY TUESDAY 10:30 - LATE Chilli WHITE No curfew .

A complainant challenged whether:

1. the image of the smoking monkey was offensive, because it showed animal cruelty; and

2. the images of women in the ad were offensive and unsuitable for a circular which could be seen by anyone, including children.

The ASA challenged whether:

3. the image of the woman pouring liquid into her mouth was irresponsible, because it showed alcohol being handled irresponsibly;

4. the images of woman in various states of undress were irresponsible, because they linked alcohol with sexual activity;

5. the leaflet was irresponsible, because the images collectively were likely to appeal particularly to people under 18 years, by reflecting and being associated with youth culture;

6. the statement FREE BOMB WITH EVERY DRINK was irresponsible, because it encouraged excessive drinking; and

7. the images, and particularly the image of the woman pouring liquid into her mouth, were irresponsible, because the models appeared to be under 25 years old.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA understood that the leaflet had been delivered to the building where the complainant worked and we therefore considered that, although it promoted an event aimed at students, it had been distributed to members of the general public (not only students). We recognised that all of the images were intended to capture the attention of students but we considered that the image of the monkey smoking was likely to cause serious offence to some people, whether students or members of the public.

2. Upheld

We considered that the image of the woman in a bra taking a photograph of herself was not explicit, the model was not topless and her pose was only mildly sexually suggestive. Although the leaflet could be seen by anyone, we considered that that image was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We considered that the image of the woman in the bear costume was explicit and gratuitous as her breasts were completely exposed and the rest of her was covered (by the costume), drawing particular attention to her breasts. Similarly, we considered that the placement of the martini glass in front of the naked woman's crotch and the way the image had been cropped (to include only the area from her thighs to her stomach) made that image explicit and sexually suggestive. We also considered that the image of the woman in an open baseball jacket that revealed her cleavage was sexually suggestive. Because of those images, we considered that the leaflet was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to an untargeted audience and was therefore unsuitable for distribution in a manner that allowed it to be seen by anyone, including children.

3. Upheld

We considered that, although only the neck of the bottle was visible, the impression was that the clear liquid pouring out of the bottle was a type of alcoholic drink, most likely a spirit. We noted that the woman was pouring the liquid towards her mouth with her tongue sticking out in an apparent attempt to catch the drink, which could be seen flowing in a continuous stream past her outstretched tongue. We considered that her casual and careless style of drinking, in the context of an ad for a night club event which offered a FREE BOMB WITH EVERY DRINK, implied that she had no regard for the volume of alcohol she was drinking. We concluded that the ad portrayed a style of drinking that was unwise and that it showed alcohol being handled irresponsibly.

4. Upheld

We considered that the images of the woman in a bra taking a photograph of herself; the woman in a bear costume with her breasts exposed; the woman in the baseball jacket that revealed her cleavage; the naked woman whose crotch was obscured by a martini glass; the woman pouring liquid into her mouth from a bottle; and the head and torso of the naked woman with her back to the camera alluded, to varying degrees, to seduction and sexual activity. We considered that those images had been linked to alcohol by virtue of the drinks promotion (FREE BOMB WITH EVERY DRINK), and we concluded that the leaflet breached the Code.

5. Upheld

We considered that the majority of the models looked young, appearing to be of student age, and that the fashions shown were representative of those generally worn by younger people. We considered that the images, and particularly the image of the woman riding a skateboard, were likely to appeal to young people, which was the leaflet's intended audience.

We considered that the images cumulatively were youth orientated, and that the leaflet would have particular appeal to young people, including those under the age of 18 years. Because the ad promoted a club event night and included reference to the promotion on alcoholic drinks, we concluded that that approach was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.

6. Upheld

We noted that the leaflet stated FREE BOMB WITH EVERY DRINK, and we understood that the offer was not restricted in terms of duration or in terms of the number of free bombs that each person attending the event would be entitled to (upon the purchase of another drink). We considered that the implication was that the free drinks were to be consumed in addition to the purchased drinks, as opposed to acting as an alternative to a second or subsequent purchased drink, and we noted that the event ran from 10.30 - LATE. We considered that the drinks promotion encouraged excessive consumption of alcohol, which was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.

7. Upheld

The Code required that marketing communications that referred to alcoholic drinks should not show people who were, or appeared to be, under 25 years of age in a significant role. The leaflet included reference to the promotion on alcoholic drinks at the event (FREE BOMB WITH EVERY DRINK) and we considered that all of the people pictured in the leaflet featured prominently. We had not seen evidence that they were over 25 and the majority of those whose faces were visible seemed to be under 25, including the woman pouring a liquid that appeared to be alcohol into her mouth.

The leaflet must not appear again in its current form. We welcomed NoCurfew's decision to withdraw the leaflet and we told them to take more care when preparing marketing communications that referred to alcoholic drinks in future.


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