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ASA Watch


2013: July-Sept

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A Purge on Guesswork...

ASA get pedantic about whether under 15s are playing a football game based on guesses about appeal to children, assumptions about children's bedtimes, and whether people accurately report their age to Facebook


Link Here25th September 2013

An in-game ad for the film The Purge , which appeared in the game app Real Football 2013 , included various scenes of violence. At one point a group of people carrying weapons approached a house, and a man's voice said, Anybody tries to come in, you blast them. Towards the end of the ad, the man told a woman Everything is gonna be OK. She replied tearfully, Nothing is going to be OK.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it appeared on an app that might be played by children.

Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA considered that the themes of violence and fear contained in the ad were likely to cause distress to young and early teenage children, and that care was therefore needed to ensure responsible targeting. We understood that the same ad had received a post-9 pm restriction when it was cleared for broadcast on TV, and that Universal Pictures had asked their media agency to target those aged 15- to 24-years when placing the ad. We were satisfied that the content of the ad would be suitable for audiences aged 15 and over, and considered that Universal Pictures should have taken steps to ensure that the ad was targeted as far as reasonably possible to that age group.

The complainant reported the ad having been served to their seven-year-old son at around 9 pm, whilst he was playing the game Real Football 2013 . Whilst we noted Universal Pictures' views on the content of Real Football 2013 , and acknowledged that the game was not explicitly targeted at children, we considered that the type of strategic gameplay described was likely to appeal to some children, and particularly teenagers interested in football. We also noted that the figures provided by Gameloft, which indicated a high proportion of users aged 18+, were based only on those users who connected the game to their Facebook accounts and relied on accurate self-reporting of age to that site. We therefore considered that the audience composition data provided for Real Football 2013 , whilst it suggested that the proportion of users aged under 15 was likely to be relatively low, was not in itself sufficient to demonstrate responsible targeting of the ad.

We understood, however, that the ad had been served on a time-targeted basis, meaning that it would not be shown to users before 8 pm or after 6 am. Gameloft had subsequently extended the restriction to begin at 9 pm. We considered that showing the ad only after 9 pm was likely to successfully minimise the risk of children aged under 15 seeing it, and that the 9 pm to 6 am time-targeting was therefore sufficient to ensure responsible delivery of the ad. Although we welcomed Gameloft's subsequent decision to ensure the ad was not shown earlier than 9 pm, because the complaint related to a particular instance of the ad having been shown at 9 pm, we concluded that it had not on that occasion been inappropriately targeted and was not irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.2 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

[Just for background I looked up typical bedtimes for children. The consensus is that teenagers 12+ need 8 or 9 hours sleep per night, and hence typical bedtimes are likely to be 10 to 11pm. It looks likely that a 9pm restriction will not do much to minimise viewing by 12-14 year olds. It's not like the TV watershed where 9pm is a also a marker to warn parents that programmes might not be suitable, even when the kids are still up for a couple of hours. There is no similar convention for games that warns parents that games after 9pm may have 15 rated ads served]

 

 

Tentacles of Censorship...

ASA whinges at Youtube advert for The Evil Within video game


Link Here18th September 2013

An ad on YouTube for the 18 PEGI rated videogame The Evil Within showed a darkened corridor, interspersed with shots of work tools. It showed a man sitting, in a darkened room, at a workbench, working with barbed wire and then cut to a man who was studded with broken glass. It also showed large, shadowy figures carrying menacing weapons and a man wrapped in barbed wire, with bloodied creatures crawling around a warehouse. It later showed a flayed human corpse which was also wrapped in barbed wire and it then cut to a bubbling pool of blood, out of which a blood covered multi-limbed creature arose and crawled towards the camera. The ad then showed what looked like a man lying down with a metal box on his head, out of which exploded, what appeared to be, bloody tentacles. Issue

The complainant, who saw the ad, which was attached to and shown before a video about a children's play set, challenged whether:

  1. the ad had been responsibly targeted because it appeared before a video which would appeal to children; and

  2. the ad's content was distressing and offensive because it was excessively gory. CAP Code (Edition 12) 1.3 4.1 4.2 Response

Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad was targeted to males aged 18 to 35 who were signed into their YouTube account. We understood, however, that the ad could still be served to users who had previously searched for horror movies and/or video games, even when they were not signed into their account.

The complainant had searched for YouTube content featuring the children's toy, Thomas the Tank Engine and was presented with the ad before his chosen video played. We also understood from the complainant that he signed out of YouTube and nevertheless had been served the ad. We acknowledged the steps Bethesda had taken to ensure targeting so that the ad would only be served to those who were signed into their YouTube accounts and who had sought out similar products based on the user's Google search terms. However, we were concerned that even though the ad was targeted to signed in YouTube users, there was still the possibility the ad could be served to users who were under the age of 18 whom, by way of their internet searches, had expressed an interest in video games and/or horror movies. Because there was a possibility that users under the age of 18 could be served the ad, we concluded the ad had not been responsibly targeted.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).

2. Upheld

We recognized the ad was atmospheric and created a sense of apprehension and reflected the theme of the game, survival horror. We acknowledged Bethesda had taken steps so that the ad was served to those over the age of 18 and who had sought out material relating to video games and/or horror movies. Although there were no acts of violence against people depicted in the ad, it contained images of a person covered in shards of glass, someone wrapped in barbed wire, a flayed corpse wrapped in barbed wire, bloodied creatures crawling around a warehouse-type building and a bubbling pool of blood, out of which a bloodied creature rose. Multiple shots of bloodied fingers, caused by handling barbed wire, featured throughout the ad and the end shot featured what appeared to be a man's head exploding into bloody tentacles. We recognized the ad contained content which reflected the game's theme, which we also noted was PEGI-rated 18. However, we considered those images were excessively gory and were likely to cause distress and offence to some who saw the ad.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence).

 

 

Burned Out Censors...

ASA claim a sign saying 'The hotter you are the faster I come' would cause widespread offence


Link Here4th September 2013

A brochure, for Fireball Whiskey, featured text which stated TASTES LIKE HEAVEN BURNS LIKE HELL . The ad also included two Polaroid style photographs in the top right corner of the page. One of the photographs featured four people standing in a nightclub. One of the people held a sign that included the Fireball logo and read THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME . Text within the body of the ad beneath the heading FIREBALL ACTIVITY stated Throughout the year, the Fireball team will be committed to delivering exciting activity across the country to support the spread of the Fireball phenomena [sic]. From being the Kerrang Awards' spirit of choice to sponsoring Loaded's National Tour, you will always find Fireball at the centre of the party .

The complainant challenged whether:

  1. the ad breached the Code, because the person holding the sign which featured the text THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME appeared under 25 years of age; and
  2. the claim THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME was offensive, because they considered it was a sexually explicit reference.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the CAP Code required that people shown drinking alcohol or playing a significant role in a marketing communication must neither be, nor seem to be, under 25 years of age. Although the person holding the sign, which featured the text THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME , was not drinking, we considered that in appearing in the photograph with promotional material for Fireball Whiskey, they were playing a significant role in the ad. Because the person appeared to be under the age of 25, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rule 18.16 (Alcohol).

2. Upheld

We considered the claim THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME would be understood by consumers as a sexually explicit reference. We considered the presentation of a person, who appeared under the age of 25, in conjunction the claim THE HOTTER YOU ARE THE FASTER I COME was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

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

 

 

Clicked with the Easily Offended...

Censor objects dismiss complaints from whinge objects about sex objects in fragrance advert


Link Here30th August 2013

A cinema ad and a TV ad for a men's fragrance , 1 Million Intense:

  • a. The cinema ad featured a man who walked into a room and clicked his fingers, which caused a vault style door to close behind him. When he clicked his fingers again, the lights came on and a woman stood up from a chair. They walked towards each other, briefly touched, and the woman then walked backwards and clicked her fingers, which caused a screen to close in front of her. The woman was shown dancing behind the screen and the man sat down on a bed. As the man clicked his fingers the ad cut to various images which included the woman removing her bracelets, a fireplace lighting up, ice cubes dropping into a drink and the woman's belt falling to the floor, followed by her dress, and her jewellery. The man stood up and clicked his fingers again. The room and the woman turned to gold and she emerged from behind the screen. She walked towards the man and he placed his hand on her waist and clicked his fingers, which caused the lights to go out. An image of the product appeared on screen with the text paco rabanne www.pacorabanne.com. The voice-over stated, "1 Million Intense. The new fragrance for men by Paco Rabanne.

  • b. The TV ad was similar to the cinema ad, but shorter in duration.

The ASA received five complaints.

1. One complainant challenged whether the cinema ad was offensive because he felt it was sexist and objectified women.

2. Four complainants challenged whether the TV ad was offensive on the same grounds.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. & 2. Not upheld

Whilst the ASA acknowledged the complainants concern that the scenario featured in the ad was sexist and objectified women, we considered that the ad showed a surreally dramatized, but complicit seduction between the male and female characters, who had been shown to have equal magical abilities. Whilst we accepted that some viewers might find the ad distasteful, we did not consider that the female character was portrayed as inferior to the male character, or that she had been objectified. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offense.

We investigated the ads under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and Offence) and BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

 

 

Night of the Whingeing Dead...

ASA dismisses complaints about GiffGaff zombie advert


Link Here29th August 2013
A TV ad for the mobile network giffgaff opened with on-screen text that stated This is an Advertisement and this text appeared at one-minute intervals throughout the ad. The ad featured a herd of zombies entering a rural village. The zombies groaned and dragged their feet and the village's inhabitants appeared terrified. However, they gradually understood that the zombies had only come to help them.

Scenes included a zombie twisting and pulling his own arm off to help coax a cat down from a tree, a zombie's body on the roof of a house fixing an aerial while the zombie's head watched TV in the living room and a coconut shy where zombies heads rested on stands in the place of coconuts.

The ASA received 105 complaints:

  1. The majority of viewers challenged whether the level of horror and gore was offensive and likely to cause distress.
  2. Eleven viewers challenged whether the violence in the ad was offensive and so trivialised a recent news item in which a man had been murdered.
  3. Nine viewers challenged whether the ad was suitable for a general viewing audience, which could include children.
  4. Four viewers challenged whether it was sufficiently clear that the material being broadcast was an ad.

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

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that giffgaff intended for the ad to be humorous and a parody of a well-known genre. We recognized that the use of zombies was a creative device to show consumers that something they were initially afraid of could actually be useful. We concluded that the level of horror in the ad was not shocking and fell within a well-established zombie genre that audiences would be familiar with, particularly given the ad was not aired before 10.15 pm. We also noted that the horror in the ad faded as it was made clear the zombies were there to help the village's inhabitants. In this context therefore, we concluded that the level of gore and horror was not offensive or likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility), 4.1, 4.2 and 4.10 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the ad contained some blood and gore, as is inherent in the zombie genre. However, we noted that the ad did not depict murder or violence and we therefore concluded, that the ad was not analogous to, nor did it trivialise, a news item in which a man was murdered.

On this point we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility), 4.1, 4.2 and 4.10 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

3. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the ad did not air earlier than 10.15 pm, nor did it air adjacent to any programme directed at, or likely to appeal to audiences below the age of 18. We concluded therefore, that children were unlikely to view the ad and the allocated scheduling was appropriate for the level of horror and provided sufficient protection to audiences aged under 18.

On this point we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 32.1 and 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

4. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the ad opened with a herd of zombies entering a village and there was no mention of giffgaff or the service being advertised. However, we considered the on-screen text that stated This is an Advertisement and which appeared at one-minute intervals throughout the ad, was prominent enough on the screen and made it sufficiently clear that the material was an ad, rather than an editorial or programming.

On this point we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 2.1 (Recognition of advertising) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

ASA's brains fried by too many Pot Noodles...

Crass and degrading censorship of jokey Facebook advert for Pot Noodles


Link Here28th August 2013
Three online ads, for Piri Piri Pot Noodles:
  • a. A video ad seen on the Pot Noodle Facebook page, opened with a young man sitting on a bus, eating a Pot Noodle and struggling to cope with its spiciness. Whilst eating, he saw a young woman next to a pole. She was looking at him in a seductive manner. The man and woman started dancing and, towards the end of the ad, the woman took her top off whilst the man watched. He then realised that the Pot Noodle pot was empty and the woman was revealed to be a shabbily dressed man. The voice-over stated Dreaming of something a bit hotter? With new Piri Piri chicken flavour it's easy to peel the top off a hottie. The ad concluded with an image of two Pot Noodle lids, which were arranged to suggest a woman's bust, along with the text PEEL THE TOP OFF A HOTTIE .
  • b. The ad, which was an online game, appeared on the Pot Noodle Facebook page. It showed a cartoon image of the young woman and shabbily dressed man from the video, standing in Pot Noodle containers. In the centre of the ad, there was a picture of two Pot Noodle lids, arranged in the same way as the in the video, alongside the text PEEL THE TOP OFF A HOTTIE .
  • c. The ad appeared on the Pot Noodle Facebook page. It showed a female model in a bikini next to a picture of a Pot Noodle with the text Phwarr is it me or is it getting hot in here? HOT OFF. Which one gets you hotter? .

Issue

  1. Eighteen complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive, sexist and degrading to women.
  2. Six of the complainants also challenged whether the ads were irresponsible and harmful because they suggested it was acceptable to try and remove women's clothing without their consent.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld in relation to ad (c) only

The ASA noted video ad (a) featured a scene in which the female character and the male character flirted in a playful way and that although the tone of the scene changed slightly when the female character was shown (from behind) starting to voluntarily remove her top, this image was very brief and was immediately replaced by the reality of the situation and that it was actually a man with whom the main character was flirting. Although the tone of the ad was mildly sexual, we considered that the interaction between the characters was not salacious and that the female character was not presented in a sexist or degrading way. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious offence to those visiting the Pot Noodle Facebook page.

We noted ad (b) was presented in cartoon-like style and featured two of the characters (the female character from the video ad along with her male counterpart) and that the text Peel the top off a hottie was overlaid on two Pot Noodle lids which were positioned and shaded in such a way they looked like a pair of breasts in a low cut top. Although we considered some consumers may have found the ad distasteful, we considered the images were likely to be seen as puerile rather than sexually explicit and considered that the ad was unlikely to cause serious offence to those visiting the Pot Noodle Facebook page.

We noted ad (c) featured an image of the female character from the ads wearing red knickers and a revealing red bra and that she was posed in a provocative way. We further noted the image of the woman was presented next to the image of the product with text stating Hot off and Which one gets you hotter? . Although we noted the intention of the ad was a tongue-in-cheek play on the word hottie , we considered the presentation of the woman in a sexual pose and the blatant comparison with the food product was crass and degrading and therefore likely to cause serious offence to some visitors to Pot Noodle Facebook page

On this point ad (c) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. Not upheld

We noted all of the ads made use of the phrase peel the top off a hottie and considered consumers would understand from their content that this phrase was a play on words and as a reference to both the removal of an attractive person's top (in this instance a woman) and the removal of the Pot Noodle lid. Although video ad (a) showed a brief image of the female character beginning to remove her top in the flirtation scene, the male character merely watched on and the female character was not shown to be doing anything against her will. Although ad (b) featured the pot noodle lids shaped like breasts with one of the lids starting to be peeled off (revealing fire underneath to represent the heat of the product) and ad (c) featured the female character in her underwear, neither ad used visual images to show the removal of the female characters clothing with, or without their consent. We considered that although some visitors to the Pot Noodle Facebook page may have found the Peel the top of a hottie to be distasteful, we considered that none of the ads condoned the removal of a woman's clothing without her consent or suggested that such an act was likely to be acceptable.

On this point we investigated ads (a), (b) and (c) under CAP Code rule 4.4 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

 

 

Going by the Book...

ASA unsurprisingly find Evil Dead advert too scary for kids


Link Here21st August 2013

Four TV ads for the film Evil Dead:

  • a. The first ad showed an external shot of a cabin followed by a silhouette of a man standing in the doorway shown from the inside. On-screen text and the voice-over stated, EVIL . A girl was shown running through a forest before the ad cut to a shot of a man inside the cabin looking nervously over his shoulder. On-screen text and the voice-over stated, IS . A book was shown slamming shut and a girl in a white bloodied dress with her head bowed was shown slowly raising her arms. On-screen text and the voice-over stated, COMING followed by a girl walking backwards away from the cabin which was on fire.

  • b. The second ad was identical to ad (a) other than the final screen.

  • c. The third ad showed a shot of man sitting at a desk unwrapping and opening a book as the voice-over stated, I read a passage from that book. A girl was then shown running through the forest before the shot cut to a man by a car and a flooded river. The voice-over continued I released something evil. A number of clips were then shown including a woman standing and screaming inside a cabin whilst other people cowered across the room from her, a figure rising from a swamp, a man holding a chainsaw, a cabinet mirror breaking in front of a woman's face and a cabin bursting into flames. The clips were interspersed with on-screen quotes from critics that stated TERRIFYING , JAW-DROPPING and ASTONISHING . The ad ended with a woman being pulled from behind through a trapdoor.

  • d. The fourth ad showed a number of clips from the film including a cabin bursting into flames, a man operating a chainsaw, a knife passing in front of a woman's bloodied face, a figure rising from a swamp, a woman looking over her shoulder with a scared expression and a woman being pulled from behind through a trapdoor.

Ads (a) and (b) were cleared by Clearcast with an ex-kids restriction, which meant they should not be shown in or around programmes made for, or specifically targeted at, children. Ads (c) and (d) were cleared by Clearcast with a post 7.30 restriction.

The ASA received 28 complaints.

  1. 1. Twenty-five complainants challenged whether ads (a) and (b) were inappropriately scheduled.

  2. 2. Two complainants challenged whether ad (c) and (d) were inappropriately scheduled and one complainant challenged whether ad (d) was offensive.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA considered that the scenes in ads (a) and (b) which showed the girl in the bloodied dress and the log cabin burning could cause distress to young children. Furthermore, we considered that the voice-over stating, Evil is coming along with the use of swift cuts, darkly lit scenes and eerie music created a sinister and tension-filled atmosphere. Whilst we acknowledged that the ads had been given an ex-kids restriction and had therefore not been broadcast around programmes that were of particular appeal to children, we considered that they were inappropriate for broadcast during the day when young children might be watching and we concluded that ads (a) and (b) should have been given a post 7.30 restriction.

The ads breached BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Scheduling).

2. Not upheld

Whilst we acknowledged that some adults would find ad (d) distasteful, we did not consider that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to adults and we therefore concluded that it did not breach the Code in that regard.

We considered that the atmosphere of ads (c) and (d) was similar to that in ads (a) and (b), but that there was an elevated level of threat, partly due to a greater use of scenes involving people who appeared frightened or distressed, including a woman audibly screaming in ad (c) and a bloodied knife passing in front of the face of a woman who appeared to be frightened in ad (d). However, we considered that the post 7.30 restriction was sufficient to ensure that they would not be broadcast when young children, who might be distressed by them, would be watching and we concluded that the ad had been appropriately scheduled.

On this point, we investigated ads (c) and (d) under BCAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find them in breach.

 

 

Update: A Long Way from the Truth...

ASA dismisses inaccurate complaint about a table dancing club


Link Here14th August 2013
Full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

A poster for The Lodge Gentlemen's Club in Oxford showed an image of a woman wearing a bra lying on her back, looking towards the camera. With her right hand she was playing with her hair; the left side of her body was obscured by shadow.

A complainant, who stated that the poster had been placed within 100 m of a nursery and directly opposite a youth hostel, challenged whether the ad:

  1. was offensive, sexist and degrading to women; and

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

1. & 2. Starwhite Ltd, t/a The Lodge Gentleman's Club stated that they did not wish to offend anyone, but felt that the image was not of an offensive nature and that the text was innocuous. They said the poster was located almost opposite a youth hostel, but not within 100 m of a nursery. They also said that before the poster had been put up, the ad had been submitted to the CAP Copy Advice team, who had advised that it was suitable.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that advertising for gentlemen's clubs would often contain images of women, many of which were likely to be seen as at least mildly sexual because of the nature of the service promoted. However, the fact that a product was offensive to some people was not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code. It was therefore necessary to consider the overall impression given by the ad.

We noted that the image showed a woman lying on her back, looking towards the camera. The complainant had described this as a sexually submissive position. Much of the woman's body was shrouded in darkness, but she was shown alone and did not look distressed or coerced in any way, and given that she was wearing a bra and most of the lower part of her body was not visible we considered that the image was only mildly sexual in nature. Whilst acknowledging that the ad would be distasteful to some, we did not consider that it would be generally seen as objectifying or being sexist or degrading to women, and concluded that it was therefore unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On that point, 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 that the CAP Copy Advice team had viewed the ad before it appeared, and had advised that it should not be placed within 100 m of a school or places that children frequented. We considered that, given the sexually suggestive nature of the ad, that restriction was appropriate and would reduce the risk of its being seen by children. The complainant had believed that the poster was located within that distance of a nursery. However, we understood that the poster was in fact around 350m away from the nursery school. We also understood that the youth hostel referred to by the complainant was generally used by those aged 16--18 years, who were not classed as children under the Code. Because the ad had been placed away from schools or businesses that provided children based services, we concluded that it was not irresponsible.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.

 

 

The high priests of PC given an unholy tangled mess to sort out...

Home Office to be investigated by ASA for mentioning unmentionable people breaking unmentionable laws


Link Here 10th August 2013

An investigation into the Home Office Go Home ad vans campaign has been launched by the UK advert censor following a series of complaints.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed they launched their investigation after receiving 60 complaints expressing concerns that the ads were reminiscent of slogans used by racist groups to attack immigrants in the past .

The regulator said some complaints also centred around the claim that 106 arrests last week in your area made in the advert was misleading.

Last month, adverts displayed on billboards transported by vans in six London boroughs were driven around in a Government effort to tell overstaying migrants to go home , or face arrest and deportation.

 

 

Sexy Week in the Sun...

TV adverts cleared by advert censor


Link Here7th August 2013

TV ads and a VOD ad promoted different editions of The Sun newspaper:

a. A TV ad for The Sun stated This Saturday it's all going on in The Sun . On-screen text stated Sexy Week alongside an image of some lips, surrounded by photographs of Myleene Klass posing in a bikini and two other female celebrities, then featured a photo of Cheryl Cole next to a mannequin of herself. The voice-over stated It's Sexy Week and we have 50 spicy tips for hot sex and Plus we begin our countdown of Britain's ten sexiest babes (as voted for by you).

b. A TV ad for The Sun on Sunday stated This Sunday it's all going on in The Sun . On-screen text stated SEXCLUSIVE and featured photographs of four female celebrities. The voice-over stated, Our Sexy Week climaxes tomorrow with the winner of Britain's sexiest babes , which was followed by an image of the upper body of a female celebrity in nightwear, alongside the on-screen text SEXCLUSIVE . The voice-over continued, Plus get our 'Lovers Guide to Hotter Sex'.

c. A TV ad for The Scottish Sun on Sunday featured the same content as ad (b).

d. A VOD ad, viewed on the ITV Player during Britain's Got Talent and British Animal Honours 2013, featured the same content as ad (b)

1. Forty-eight viewers challenged whether ads (a), (b) and (c) were inappropriately scheduled, because the sexual themes and references to sex were unsuitable to be shown around family programmes likely to be seen by children;

2. Four viewers challenged whether ads (a) and (b) were offensive because they were sexist and objectified women.

3. Two complainants also challenged whether ad (d) was appropriate to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that ad (a) featured a woman in a bikini and ads (b) and (c) featured women in nightwear and a cropped top, but did not consider they were overtly sexual images or that the women were featured in sexualised poses. Moreover, we considered that the impact of the images was further reduced due to the brief duration of the images and the fast cutting style of the ad.

We did consider that the content of the voice-over was mildly sexual in content, but noted that it was describing the features of the forthcoming issues of the Sun and, whilst that content might be inappropriate for broadcast at times when children were likely to be watching TV unaccompanied, we acknowledged that Clearcast had applied a restriction which prevented the ads from being broadcast in or around programmes directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children. We also noted that the ads had been broadcast at around 7:45 pm and 8 pm, and considered that further reduced the likelihood of them being seen by unsupervised children.

Although we acknowledged that the complainants considered the ads had been inappropriately broadcast during family programmes, we considered that the scheduling restriction applied was sufficient and concluded the ads were not inappropriate for broadcast when children might be watching TV in family viewing time.

We investigated ads (a), (b) and (c) under BCAP Code rules 4.1, 4.2 (Harm and offence), 32.3 (Scheduling of Television and Radio Advertisements - Under-16s), but did not find them in breach.

2. Not upheld

As set out under point 1, we considered that the ads contained some mildly sexual content and noted they featured women dressed, for example, in a bikini, nightwear and a cropped top, but also featured women in other styles of dress, and, in ad (a), also promoted the acting talents of Sheridan Smith. Although we noted that the ads predominantly featured images of women in the context of its Britain's ten sexiest babes feature and acknowledged that some viewers might consider a feature of that kind to be sexist and to objectify women, in light of the content of the ads, we did not consider it inappropriate for the ads to promote its Sexiest babes feature or consider that the portrayal was likely to cause offence.

Because we considered that viewers would be likely to be aware of the kind of articles and images which often featured in the Sun and would view the content of the ad as representative of that publication, and because we considered that content of the ads was not overtly sexually provocative or explicit, we concluded that they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated ads (a), (b) and (c) under BCAP Code rules 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

3. Not upheld

We understood that ad (d) had been scheduled so it would not appear around programmes directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children. For the reasons detailed under point 1, which related to a TV ad with the same content as ad (d), we considered that the scheduling restriction applied was sufficient and concluded that ad (d) was not inappropriate for broadcast when children might be watching online TV content in family viewing time and was not in breach of the Code.

We investigated ad (d) under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Update: Censorship, Content and Consumers...

DCMS outlines its plans for the suffocation of the British internet industry


Link Here1st August 2013
Full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

The DCMS has published an official wide ranging paper on internet and communications policy. Many of the censorship aspects have already been described by David Cameron in his recent speech. Here are a few paragraphs fleshing out some of the proposed censorship ideas:

Material Promoting Terrorism

The Prime Minister has convened an Extremism Task Force which will be looking closely, in the coming months, at the role the communications industry can and should play in reducing the availability of material promoting terrorism online.

A watershed for internet TV

We want to ensure that the living room remains a safe space for children.

TV remains central to our lives, with people in the UK watching on average more than four hours of broadcast TV every day. Families still get together to sit around the television and watch the latest period drama, talent competition, or catch the latest episode of their favourite soap.

But increasingly, set-top boxes and TVs connected to the internet enable programmes and films to be viewed on-demand, to fit viewing around our own schedules. These can fall outside of regulatory frameworks. People tend to consider connected TVs to be a TV-like experience and expect to be more protected than they are from content accessed through PCs and laptops. Yet, the technology means that it is easy to flick  between regulated and unregulated spaces. Since this is not always clear, this increases the risk of people inadvertently accessing content that may be offensive, inappropriate, or harmful to children.

The technology is already available to enable people to be provided with more information about programmes, and for locks to be put in place to prevent post- watershed programmes from being viewed by children on-demand. But more needs to be done to make sure that these practices are adopted more widely, and to make sure that tools, like pin-protection, are straightforward and easy for people to use.

We also want it to be clear to people when they are watching TV in a protected, regulated space, and when they move with just a few clicks to an unregulated area of the internet. We want industry, broadcasters, manufacturers and platform providers, to lead the development of consumer tools in this area, working with regulators to consider what mechanisms can be applied to clearly label regulated and unregulated content. One such mechanism, may be, for example, using the electronic programme guide itself to define the protected space. We will work with industry to ensure that best practice is developed and can be shared and standardised. Given this is an area where we are seeing rapid developments, we will keep progress under close review, and if necessary, we will consider the case for legislation to ensure that audiences are protected to the level that they choose

R18 on internet TV

The popularity of video-on-demand services (VoD) has grown dramatically in recent years, providing consumers with great new choices about what they want to watch when and where. But with this new opportunity comes risk, and this is particularly the case when it comes to harmful content that is now more readily available. In hard copy, content rated R18 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is only available in licensed sex shops and content that was even stronger is banned outright. The VOD regulations in this area do not currently provide the same level of certainty and protection as on the high street. As on-demand services become increasingly prevalent we want to make sure that regulation of on-demand content is as robust as regulation of content on a DVD, bringing the online world into line with the high street.

We will legislate to ensure that material that would be rated R18 by the British Board of Film Classification is put behind access controls on regulated services and we will ban outright content on regulated services that is illegal even in licensed sex shops.

More Dangerous Pictures

We will also close a loophole in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, so that it is a criminal offence to possess extreme pornography that depicts rape.

Website Blocking

We are seeing good progress in this area:

  • Where children could be accessing the internet, we need good filters that are preselected to be on, and we need parents aware and engaged in the setting of those filters. By the end of this year, when someone sets up a new broadband account, the settings to install family friendly filters will be automatically selected; if you just click next or enter, then the filters are automatically on.

  • By the end of next year ISPs will have prompted all existing customers to make an unavoidable decision about whether to apply family friendly filters.

  • Only adult account holders will be able to change these filters once applied.

  • All mobile phone operators will apply adult filters to their phones. [Does this allow adults to turn off the blocking?]

  • 90% of public Wi-Fi will have family friendly filters applied to wherever children are likely to be present.

  • Ofcom will regularly review the efficacy of these filters

But we are clear that industry must go further:

  • We expect the smaller ISPs to follow the lead being set by the larger providers.

  • We want industry to continue to refine and improve their filters to ensure they do not, even unintentionally, filter out legitimate content.

  • We want to see mobile network operators develop their child safety services further; for example, filtering by handset rather than by contract would provide greater flexibility for parents as they work to keep their children safe online.

Paying for PC advert censorship

The UK benefits from a healthy and successful advertising sector, underpinned by an exemplar of successful self-regulation, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The A administers a system which is flexible and responsive, and is industry funded, through 0.1% levy on non-broadcast advertising spend levied by the Advertising Standards Boa of Finance (ASBOF). This levy is voluntary, but is well supported by industry; however, will be important to ensure that this continues to be sustainable in the future. The relatively recent extension of the ASA's online remit to cover marketing on companies own websites and on social media demonstrates the increasing importance of online advertising, and advertising spend in the future is likely to increase its focus on these online markets. Therefore, it will be important to ensure that this self-regulatory, industry-funded model remains sustainable for the future, and that the regulation of online and offline advertising alike can continue to be supported by the industry levy. Some concerns have been raised over the degree to which collection of the levy in the digital world has kept pace with the rate at which advertisers are now operating there.

We think it is incumbent upon all parts of the industry, including the digital media, to safeguard this continued funding by playing their part in the collection of the levy.

 

 

Adult Blog Awards 2013...

Promotional competition on SexShop365 website cleared by ASA


Link Here31st July 2013

A competition on a website selling sex toys, www.sexshop365.co.uk, for the Adult Blog Awards 2013 stated Welcome [sic] the Sex Shop 365 annual 'Adult Blog Awards 2013', we have decided to give the community of sex bloggers around the world [sic] to enter and become further recognised and have their loyal fan bases vote them. Here you will find a list of ranked blogs, anyone can sign up, if you have an established website, WordPress or even a BlogSpot account, we want you to enter. All you have to do is sign up, you can then add the banner code to your page, and you can get people to start voting for you! This code will be sent once your website has been approved by our checking team. The prizes for the Adult Blog Awards come straight from Sex Shop 365 HQ, £ 300 worth of sex toys and goodies! Voting closes 25th April 2013 . Further text stated Rules Any blogs submitted must be live and being updated at least twice monthly ... A voting button is provided upon registering, you can use the vote link independently...Voting closes 25th April and winners announced the day after. [..] Votes are converted into daily averages to allow blogs to join awards at any point of the competition without being disadvantaged .

A complainant, whose blog had been removed from the competition and who also believed the competition winner was a company employee, challenged whether the promotion had been administered fairly.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The complainant said she had contacted the company when she noticed her blog was no longer listed on the awards web page as participating and was told that blogs that were inactive for two weeks were removed automatically. I D Web clarified in their response to the complaint that the blogs were removed only from the listings on their website, and not from the competition itself. The ASA understood that voting was promoted on the individual blogs in question, and that the complainant had stopped asking her readers to vote for her, which explained why there was a period of inactivity. We therefore did not consider that the removal of inactive blogs from the list of top 18 participating blogs during the competition had disadvantaged the complainant or been unfair. We considered it would have been preferable for this software issue to have been communicated to participants once I D Web became aware of it, but noted they did not intend to use the same software again if they ran the awards in future. The complainant had also raised concerns that the winner was a company employee. However, because the winner was decided by readers votes only we did not consider the awarding of a prize to a freelance blogger who had worked for the company in the past meant the promotion had been administered unfairly. We concluded the promotion did not breach the Code.

We investigated the promotion under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 8.2 (Sales promotions) and 8.17.1 (Significant conditions for promotions) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Updated: Advert Censor Crazy for Power and World Domination...

ASA bans brewery website from using the word motherfu*ker


Link Here 26th July 2013

Claims on the home page of www.brewdog.com, a brewery website, stated BrewDog is a post Punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery. Say goodbye to the corporate beer whores crazy for power and world domination ... Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Save up for a Luger, and drill the bastards .

An internet user challenged whether the language used in the ad was likely to cause serious offence.

BrewDog said they had removed the claims from their website, but did not provide a substantive response to our enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted the asterisk used in mother fu*ker , but considered its inclusion did not obscure the intended meaning and it was still clear that it represented a swear word, one generally regarded as highly offensive and unlikely to be acceptable in marketing communications. We considered that the other language used on the page, such as corporate beer whores , rip you straight to the tits and Save up for a Luger and drill the bastards , was also likely to cause serious offence to some people.

Given the general tone of the page, and in particular the use of mother fu*ker , we considered the language used was gratuitous and concluded that the page was likely to cause serious offence to some visitors to the website page.

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

We told BrewDog to take care to avoid causing serious offence in the future. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.

Update: Motherfu*king brewery shows bottle

26th July 2013. See  article from  heraldscotland.com

  BrewDog bottle!

An independent brewery is set to ignore a ban for strong language ludicrously deemed likely to cause serious offence by the advert censor.

The brewery has announced that it will ignore the ASA ruling and will put the statement back on the website. BrewDog co-founder James Watt said:

We actually just took down the statement on our website to make room for the equity for punks stuff. Soon, we will be putting the statement back on our website.

We believe in freedom of speech and artistic expression. We don't believe in mindless censorship.

As for the ASA - those mother f*ckers don't have any jurisdiction over us anyway.

The ASA has said it is monitoring the situation but a spokesman said it would be disappointing if BrewDog was considering putting the statement back online.

 

 

Pesky Kids...

How are the advert censors meant to do their jobs if the kids don't own up to their age?


Link Here26th July 2013

A new ASA survey commissioned to find out what ads young people see and engage with online, and whether those ads stick to the UK advertising rules, suggests that the majority of young people are registering on sites using false ages.

Our research set out to help us understand better what ads children see when they use social media. It shows that advertisers are acting in good faith by taking account of the registered age of social media account holders when delivering their ads. However, as a result of registering under a false age, many of the children in our survey were presented with ads for age-restricted products including for gambling, alcohol, slimming aids and overtly sexual dating services.

In summary, our survey reveals that:

  • All but four of the 24 children aged between 11 and 15 who participated registered on a social media site using a false age.
  • 10 participants (42% of children) were falsely registered as aged 18 or over
  • Of the 218 ads served to those registered as over 18, 24 (11%) were for products that must not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear
  • Nine participants were aged below the permitted age of registration on at least one social media site
  • Of the 427 ads the children saw in total, 420, or 98.4%, stuck to the rules
  • None of the age-restricted ads contained content that set out to appeal particularly to children.

We'll be presenting these findings to our Council with a view to exploring whether we need to take a tighter line on age-restricted ads in social media or if further research in this area would be helpful. We're also drawing this to the attention of the Advertising Code writing body, the Committee of Advertising Practice, and asking whether new guidance for advertisers on targeting ads online is needed.

Our report clearly asks questions of social media owners around the effectiveness of age-verification and whether enough is being done to prevent children from accessing age-restricted content on social media sites. We will be raising these issues with social media companies.

 

 

Who's a Silly Bunny?...

ASA dismisses ludicrous whinge about bunny girl advert for a shopping centre


Link Here24th July 2013

A poster for Junction One shopping centre in Belfast, seen on the side of a bus, featured a photograph of a woman wearing underwear and bunny ears, holding some shopping bags. The headline stated Get more than you bargained for this Easter . Text underneath stated With up to 60% OFF! Fashion Show 2pm Tue 2nd & Wed 3rd April. Wedding Fair 5th - 7th .

A complainant challenged whether the ad:

  1. was offensive and demeaning to women; and

  2. was irresponsible and unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the poster featured an image of a woman wearing underwear and bunny ears and that she was standing with a hand on one hip and shopping bags in the other hand. We noted that the image was unrelated to the product being advertised, although we understood the poster was part of a wider campaign including a TV ad which featured models dressed as Bunny girls . We considered that the image, in the context of the claim Get more than you bargained for this Easter , was sexually suggestive although we noted it was not gratuitous or explicit. We considered that although some consumers might have found the image distasteful, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence on the basis that it was demeaning to women.

On that point, 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 that the poster was untargeted and had wide reach, since it featured on the sides of 25 buses within Greater Belfast and would therefore be seen by children. We considered that children, especially young children, were unlikely to understand the sexual connotations posed by the text Get more than you bargained for this Easter when viewed in conjunction with the image. We also considered that because the image alone was only mildly sexual and was not gratuitous or explicit, the ad was not irresponsible or unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.

 

 

Miserable Gits at ASA Show Why Britain Needs a Va Va Voom Button...

Advert censor whinges at sexy fun in a Renault Clio advert


Link Here 17th July 2013

A YouTube ad for a car, entitled Two Unsuspecting Guys Take the Renault Clio for a Test Drive featured hidden camera footage of two men taking a car for a test drive around London. They reached a junction and pressed a button on the dashboard which read Va Va Voom . A screen, which featured a Parisian scene, was moved into position in front of the car and a number of actors and props appeared, including a man on a scooter, a couple at a cafe' table and a market stall. A group of women then walked in front of the car, wearing burlesque style lingerie and danced in a line in front of the car before walking towards it and gyrating and dancing around it. One woman blew a kiss to the driver. The women then walked away in unison and the screen was moved away to reveal a billboard poster which read Reignite your Va Va Voom . Issue

The complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive, because she felt it objectified women.

Renault UK Ltd (Renault) said the video had only been made available on YouTube and was generally intended to be viewed by a younger adult audience than mainstream TV channels. They said the video was a humorous parody with a theme of French culture and it therefore featured various iconic scenes that were associated with Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and a pavement cafe. They said the women who danced around the vehicle were a reference to the Moulin Rouge and that they were intended to be taken as seriously as the other iconic images in the ad. They felt they were dressed in typical Parisian style and that the choreography was a rhythmical send up of the burlesque style, rather than overtly sexual. They advised that the video had been viewed over three million times and they were unaware of any other complaints.

YouTube said the ad did not violate their Community Guidelines or Advertising Policies, but that it was the advertiser's responsibility to ensure that any ad complied with the CAP Code and was targeted appropriately.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted that Renault felt the female dancers were just one of the iconic Parisian scenes featured in the ad, which was intended to be a light-hearted parody. However, we considered that the length of the scene in question, along with the change in the music and the use of slow motion shots, meant it had a different tone to the rest of the ad. We accepted that the Moulin Rouge was associated with Paris and that a scene that referenced it could therefore have some relevance to the theme of the ad, if not to the product itself. However, we were concerned that the ad featured a number of shots of the women's breasts and bottoms, in which their heads were obscured, and which we considered invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects. We further considered that the choreography, dress and facial expressions of the dancers were sexually provocative and that the overall impression given was not necessarily that of a parody of a cabaret show such as the Moulin Rouge, particularly as the women were seen to approach the car and gyrate around it, rather than merely performing in front of it. We considered that the ad objectified the dancers by portraying them as sexual objects and that it was therefore likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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

 

 

Update: Bollox Whinges...

ASA dismisses complaints about Lynx "Clean You Balls' advert


Link Here11th July 2013

A video ad, for the Lynx Manwasher Shower Tool , was shown on Gym TV and on YouTube:

The ad, which was in the style of a product presentation filmed with a live audience, featured two female characters: Stephanie De Mornay and Amber James . Stephanie introduced Amber and asked, What have you got for us today, Amber? Amber responded, Balls. Nobody wants to play with them when they're dirty. That's why you have to keep your balls clean. The problem is soap just isn't enough. She was shown unsuccessfully cleaning a football. Stephanie asked, Well, how can guys clean their balls properly so they're more enjoyable to play with? Amber replied, Well finally there's a tool that can really get the job done. The Lynx Manwasher. Cleans your balls. She held up a bottle of Lynx shower gel and a Manwasher . The audience, including a couple of men who held rugby balls, were shown clapping and cheering...

  1. Two complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and unsuitable for display where it might be viewed by children.

  2. One complainant challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed the implication that the black character had bigger balls than the white characters played on racial stereotypes.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that very young children would be unlikely to be aware of the slang meaning of the term balls , but we considered that older children would be likely to know and understand that slang meaning, particularly in the context of an ad which discussed the use of a Manwasher . Nonetheless, we noted the actions Unilever had taken to specifically target the ad to their target demographic of men aged between 16 and 34, and noted we had not received any complaints that the ad had been seen by children. We concluded the ad had been appropriately targeted and was not, therefore, irresponsible.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We noted Unilever's view that the ad did not create the impression that the size of the sports balls was representative of the size of the testicles of the men in the audience, or that the skin colour of the men was relevant. However, we considered that because the premise of the ad was based on the double entendre of the word balls , viewers would draw connections between characteristics of the men and the balls they were holding for comedic effect. For example, at the beginning of the ad, when Amber referred to one man's golf balls as small balls , his reaction was to look concerned and uncertain.

We noted the audience included only one black man, and we considered that by having him present the large net of footballs for cleaning in contrast to the smaller balls presented by the other men, the ad played on racial stereotypes. We considered it was therefore likely that some viewers would find the ad distasteful on that basis. However, we noted the ad had been targeted at men aged between 16 and 34 and we concluded that, on balance, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence amongst that audience.

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


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