Melon Farmers Original Version

Advertising News

2010: Jan-March

 2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Latest 
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec    

25th March   

Breeding Whingers...

Kennel club complaint at Peta advert dismissed by the advert censor
Link Here

An advert which showed a white puppy with an Adolf Hitler style moustache was not offensive, the advert censor has said.

The Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) poster showed a Maltese terrier with a black comb strategically placed across its upper lip and a caption reading: Master Race? Wrong for People. Wrong for Dogs. Boycott Breeders. Adopt.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rejected a complaint from the Kennel Club that the ad was offensive. The ad originally appeared in Birmingham to coincide with the Crufts dog show.

An ASA spokesman said: The ASA carefully assessed three complaints that we received about Peta's advertisement but did not consider there were grounds for a formal investigation. We acknowledged that the image and text were emotive but did not consider the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence or to mislead. Consumers were likely to understand that the advertisers were expressing their opinion.

Peta spokeswoman Poorva Joshipura said: It is not our ad that is offensive but the false and dangerous belief that some breeds or races are superior to others. We are asking people to take a bite out of cruelty by boycotting breeders and saving the life of a dog or a cat from a rescue shelter instead.

The Kennel Club said: We put a complaint in to the ASA on behalf of all of the responsible pedigree breeders - and indeed pedigree dog owners - who love and care for their dogs and who know that they lead very healthy and happy lives. We believe that to these people the advert is highly offensive and very misleading.


24th March   

Here's Lenny...

Advert censor finds Lenny Henry's The Shining as too scary for kids
Link Here

A TV ad for Premier Inn featured Lenny Henry in a parody of the film The Shining . He was casually dressed in a checked shirt, jacket and jeans, and was shown in a menacing fashion attacking a door with an axe and putting his head through the hole, whilst saying Here's Lenny . The ad then showed another, smartly dressed, Lenny Henry on the other side of the door, who calmly said A bad night's sleep at some hotels can really make you grumpy . The tone of the ad and the music then changed to a relaxing one as the smartly dressed Lenny Henry described why guests would have a good night's sleep at Premier Inn.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast who considered a timing restriction to keep it away from children was not necessary.

Eight viewers, who had seen the ad on the children's channel Nick Jr, challenged whether it was suitable to be broadcast at times when children might see it.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted that the ad had been broadcast on Nick Jr in error. Nevertheless, we considered that the aggressive behaviour portrayed by Lenny Henry at the start of the ad, and the menacing tone and music of that scene, were likely to frighten and cause distress to younger children. We also considered that, because young children would not understand the ad's reference to The Shining , they would be unlikely to appreciate the comic context in which the menacing Lenny appeared, and could find him threatening. We therefore concluded that an ex-kids timing restriction, which would have meant that the ad should not have been shown in or around programmes made for, or specifically targeted at, children, should have been applied to the ad.

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form in or around programmes made for, or specifically targeted at, children.


17th March   

Socially Correct...

CAP/BCAP update their advertising rules with more child protection, social responsibility and taste-decency censorship
Link Here

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) have launched new UK Advertising Codes, following a comprehensive review and a full public consultation.

Consumer protection and social responsibility have been maintained at the heart of the Advertising Codes to ensure that all ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful. Key changes include:

  • The creation of a single Broadcast Code for TV and radio in place of the existing four – making it more user-friendly, clearer and joined-up.
  • An over-arching social responsibility rule for TV and radio that will afford greater protection to consumers.
  • Further commitment to protecting children:
  • A new scheduling rule for TV and radio keeps ads for age-restricted video games away from children's programming.
  • Strengthened data protection rules for children, prevent marketers collecting data from U12s without parental consent.
  • A new section in the Broadcast Code on environmental claims to provide greater clarity for advertisers and the public.
  • Relaxation of the TV scheduling restriction on condom advertising. They can now appear pre-watershed but must be kept away from the youngest viewers (U10s). Ads must also comply with the strict rules on taste and decency and socially responsible advertising.

This was the first ever concurrent review of all the Advertising Codes in nearly fifty years of their history. The thorough process involved assessing more than 400 pieces of legislation and 30,000 consultation responses. Participants included a wide range of stakeholders such as Government, parents and children's groups, consumer protection bodies, regulators, charities and religious organisations, as well as the industry. The responses helped shape CAP and BCAP's views and the final Advertising Codes.

The new Codes will come into force on 1 September 2010, allowing advertisers nearly six months to familiarise themselves with the changes and ensure campaigns comply with the new rules. CAP and BCAP are also providing a comprehensive range of training and advice resources for all those involved in commissioning, producing or publishing ads to help make sure they comply with the rules.


17th March   

Protection For, Of, and Against Children...

Catholic bishops whinge at pre-watershed condom adverts on TV
Link Here

The advertising censors are to allow condoms to be advertised on daytime TV in defiance of church nonsense that it will encourage under-age sex. A new code will permit condoms to be promoted before the 9pm watershed around any programme, providing it is not designed for children under ten.

The move follows claims from the Government's Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV that greater access to condoms is necessary to reduce the levels of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

But bishops and family campaigners say it will normalise the idea of children under 16 having sex. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said: It is profoundly inappropriate to advertise condoms to children. Promoting the use of condoms cannot be separated from promoting sex, and the sexualisation of the target audience, which will be extended to children from ten to 16.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said: Government sexual health strategies including public health advertising in recent years have amounted to pouring petrol on a fire. Every public health message has contributed to a worsening of the problem and allowing unrestricted advertising of condoms is likely to do the same.

The new UK Advertising Code, announced yesterday, also puts the TV industry at odds with church leaders on both pornography and gambling. It will allow pornographic films and magazines to be advertised on subscription adult TV channels.

Proposals to allow commercial abortion clinics to advertise their services on TV and radio have been delayed. It is not clear if they will be pursued.


14th March   

Whingers Unsatisfied...

ASA doesn't uphold complaints against Durex Play O Gel
Link Here

A TV ad for durex Play O, a gel for women, depicted the facial expressions of a number of women who were experiencing sexual ecstasy but who appeared to be singing an aria. The ad closed with a pack shot while the voice-over said Feel like never before. durex Play O. Pleasure enhancing gel for women. durex play. All you need .

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a post-11pm timing restriction. Issue

Two viewers, who saw the ad at approximately 10pm on Channel 4, challenged whether it was offensive and unsuitable for broadcast.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA noted that the viewers saw the ad after 10pm but were of the opinion that it was unsuitable for broadcast at any time. We acknowledged the viewers' concern, and appreciated that advertisers and broadcasters needed to be aware of the sensitive nature of ads for this type of product. We considered that this ad was not overtly graphic, contained no explicit material and was unlikely to cause offence, provided it was scheduled appropriately.

We understood that the post-11pm scheduling restriction applied by Clearcast would have helped to avoid exposure to viewers under the age of 12 years. We noted, however, that Channel 4 had broadcast the ad shortly after 10pm in the first instance and shortly after 10.30pm in the second instance. We checked the audience index figures for those ad breaks in the relevant programmes, and noted that they did not attract a significant proportion of younger viewers, and concluded that neither programme had demonstrated a particular appeal to younger children.

Although the ad was broadcast by Channel 4 earlier than Clearcast's scheduling advice, in consideration of the child audience index figures for the ad breaks and surrounding programmes, we considered that it had been scheduled appropriately and was unlikely to cause offence to viewers.


14th March   

Localised Advertising...

Adverts for legal brothels not allowed where brothels are illegal
Link Here

A federal appeals court upheld a Nevada law that bars legal brothels that operate in some of the state's rural areas from advertising by newspaper, leaflets and billboards in Las Vegas, Reno and other places where prostitution is illegal.

The laws had been challenged by the ACLU, a Nye County brothel called the Shady Lady Ranch and two newspapers: the High Desert Advocate and Las Vegas City Life.

The 9th Circuit panel reversed a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan in Nevada that two 1979 state laws prohibiting brothel advertising in counties where prostitution is illegal were overly broad and unconstitutional.

The 9th Circuit noted in its ruling that Nevada was unique among states because it has a nuanced boundary, rather than total criminalization of prostitution. But the state still seeks to confine the sale of sex acts through licensing and advertising restrictions, the judges said. The Nevada laws appropriately limited commercial speech, the 9th Circuit said. We conclude that the interest in preventing the commodification of sex is substantial.

ACLU attorney Allen Lichtenstein said he didn't immediately know whether he'd seek a hearing before the full 9th Circuit or would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case: The key issue is freedom of speech, It's a violation of the First Amendment for the state to restrict advertising by a legal industry, and it's wrong for a court to make exceptions because the state doesn't want to have it advertised that legalized prostitution exists.


13th March   

They're So Big!...

Politically correct feminist whinges at bra adverts
Link Here

Erotic underwear advertisements should be banned from London buses to protect children from being bombarded with sexual images, a Conservative MP has said.

Nadine Dorries tabled a 10-minute-rule Bill in the House of Commons which seeks to place restrictions on images of partial nudity in advertising.

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire drew attention to a recent Armani advertising campaign on buses in the capital which featured images of Megan Fox, the film star, in scant lingerie.

The 14ft billboard space on London's double-decker buses has been used to promote underwear ranges in recent months.

Dorries said it was the sheer size of the posters that most offended her. You can't help but see these. On the Armani ads you can barely see the name of the company, she said.

Everyone knows I'm not a politically correct feminist ...BUT... this is part of a wider trend towards the objectification of women.

Her Bill also calls for lads' mags such as Nuts and Zoo , which contain semi-nude photographs of women, to be removed from the lower shelves in newsagents to put them out of the reach of children. It will be introduced formally to Parliament on March 31.


13th March   

Over Analysing the Joke...

ASA doesn't uphold complaints over little old lady joke
Link Here

A regional press ad, for a vintage clothing store, appeared in the Islington Gazette.

It showed an elderly lady about to cross a road, carrying bags of shopping. Text superimposed on the lady stated Silk Dress Coming Soon . Further text stated SHOCK AND SOUL VINTAGE CLOTHING .

A complainant thought the ad was offensive, because it implied the lady would not be alive for much longer, and her clothes would soon be available to buy at the advertised shop.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA considered the ad presented a joke which was not overt, and its meaning might be overlooked or not understood by some readers. Those who did engage with it were likely to view the ad as suggesting that the lady's clothes would soon be available to buy at the advertised shop. Because she was elderly, we considered the ad went further than merely suggesting that she would no longer be in need of the dress in future; the implication was that she would die soon. Although the joke was morbid, and likely to be considered tasteless by some, we considered the ad did not make fun of infirmity, lack of mobility or illness and did not associate any particular negative characteristics or stereotypes with elderly people. The joke was impersonal because it related to the fact of death, not to traits of character. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.


11th March   

Update: Gangs of Whingers...

ASA doesn't uphold complaints against radio advert for 1 Day
Link Here

A radio ad, for the film 1 Day , featured a character saying I owe my man a hundred grand rude boy and Tell me exactly how you're gonna get my money to me . The sound of two gun shots was heard, followed by a character saying We need to go do what we gotta do blood . As hip-hop style music played in the background, a voice-over stated One day to settle a debt, one day to make it right. Mobo says the film 1 Day is a British grime musical revelation. 'Thrilling' says Total Film. 1 Day in cinemas now, certificate 15 . Issue

One listener thought the ad was offensive and could cause harm to young, impressionable listeners, because it condoned the use of gun violence.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA considered that the gun shots were not the ad's focal point and sounded relatively muted and brief, and listeners would realise that they were set in the context of an ad for a film. We considered the sound effects and the audio clip from the film represented its content, and any violence implied by the gun shots was not gratuitous or graphic. We considered that listeners were unlikely to infer from the ad that it was acceptable to resort to violence in order to settle a debt in real life. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to be seen as condoning the use of gun violence and was unlikely to cause offence or harm to listeners.


9th March   

Self Congratulatory Censorship...

Advert Association proposes that website self promotion should come under the remit of the advert censors, ASA
Link Here

The Advertising Association (AA) has submitted the industry's recommendations to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), for the extension of the non-broadcast Advertising Code in digital media, which will be administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). This landmark move for advertising self-regulation seeks to address societal concerns and will increase protection for consumers and children.

The recommendations, if accepted, will bring companies' marketing communications on their own websites, and other non-paid for space online, such as brand activity on social networking sites, within scope of the CAP Code. All other marketing communications activity in paid-for space online - such as search marketing and display advertising - is already within the ASA's remit and subject to the CAP Code.

It is anticipated that the extended remit will come into force during the third quarter of 2010, once formally ratified by CAP and the ASA, and after appropriate consultation.

This announcement represents a response to recommendations made in recent high level reports such as the Byron Review, Digital Britain and the Buckingham Report.

The non-broadcast and broadcast Advertising Codes were reviewed last year, and a full consultation process has recently been completed. The new Codes are expected to be published this month and will come into effect in the Autumn, at the same time as the new extended digital remit.


4th March   

Dress Sense...

Advert censor clears road safety TV advert that distressed a few younger kids
Link Here

A TV ad, for Department for Transport Think! campaign, featured a cartoon character of a pale young girl clutching her midriff, wearing a neck brace and with a plaster on her head. She looked at herself stepping into the road as the lights of a fast car approached. Three cartoon children, all wearing reflective bands and stickers, walked past the sad looking injured girl. The voice-over stated The girl who didn't dress bright in the dark. She always liked to look her best, So didn't wear a nice bright vest, Or any clothing that was bright, When she was out at nearly night, But traffic couldn't see her see, And now she isn't so trendy, A car drove right into her guts, And covered her with bruisy cuts .

The ad was cleared by Clearcast who considered a timing restriction to keep it away from children was not necessary. Issue

Five viewers, most of whom saw it on children's channels, believed the ad was unsuitable for broadcast when young children could see it, because their own children, ranging in age from four to seven, had been distressed by it.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA understood that the ad was aimed at children between the ages of six and 11, but noted the ages of the children upset by the ad were younger than, or at the lower end of the targeted age group. We noted the efforts made by the DfT, their agency and Clearcast to tone down the material in order to avoid distressing younger children who could be more easily upset. We recognised that individual child sensitivities might vary, but nonetheless considered that older children were unlikely to have found the ad disturbing. We did not dismiss the reported distress lightly, but considered that it was not always possible to avoid causing upset to some more sensitive children and noted the ad did not appear to have adversely affected the vast majority of children who saw it. We noted the importance of the road safety message and considered that a timing restriction to keep the ad away from programmes made or aimed at children, in order to avoid upsetting some young viewers, would have seriously reduced the likelihood of children in the targeted age group from seeing it.

We concluded that a scheduling restriction in order to direct the ad away from all children was not warranted on this occasion and that the ad had been scheduled appropriately.


28th February   

Crazy Advert Censors...

Australian advert censor has a whinge at Pamela Anderson in a bikini
Link Here

A TV advert featuring Pamela Anderson in a gold bikini rubbing against another scantily clad woman while being sprayed with milk has crossed the line in bad taste and been banned from Australian television.

But the advertiser, Crazy Domains, a business that registers internet domain names, is fighting the decision. A spokesman for the Perth company said the ad was no worse than some music video clips.

The Advertising Standards Bureau upheld a complaint about the ad, after receiving more than 40 submissions, stating it went too far in objectifying women. It's meant to be a cheeky, over-the-top depiction but in the bureau's view it did cross the line, bureau chief executive Fiona Jolly said.

Crazy Domains managing director Gavin Collins said the ad was tongue in cheek and blamed feminist bloggers for stirring up complaints. He asked for a review of the decision. This decision makes no sense and is completely un-Australian – we're certainly not going to take this lying down, Collins said. Have you seen Video Hits on a Saturday morning? There are much more graphic and sexually explicit images on that show every week ... during a morning timeslot.

Jolly said the ASB was conducting research about the issue of sexualised imagery of women: That's an area where there seems to be more complaints coming.


27th February   

Advertising their Intentions...

ASA to extend their advert censorship remit to online commercial websites imminently
Link Here

The UK government through psychologist, Dr Linda Papadopoulos reported that it supports the ASA in taking steps to extend existing standards to include commercial websites .

An ASA spokesman said that the industry body shares many of the concerns expressed in the review in general, and added that steps were already well-advanced to address its online remit in particular.

The industry is in very advanced stages at tackling concerns surrounding the online regulatory gap by extending the ASA's remit online and we welcome that, he said: The concerns are being addressed by the Advertising Association and, although no date has been set, changes are imminent. Everything is changing so incredibly quickly it is important we keep on top of the industry requirements. The remit extension to include online will help do that.


26th February   

Update: Cruelty to Tigers...

Peta have a bit of fun at the expense of Tiger Woods
Link Here
Full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

Though Tiger Woods has lost many of his lucrative endorsement deals since his widely publicized cheating scandal, there's one ad the pro golfer may not care to be a part of.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is looking for a local advertiser in Woods' neighborhood of Windermere, Florida to erect a billboard that will feature his image, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

PETA's ad will reportedly include the message, Too much sex can be a bad thing … for little tigers too. Help keep cats (and dogs) out of trouble: Always spay and neuter!

Though it may be difficult to find an advertiser willing to post the billboard, Virginia Fort, a campaigner for the animal rights organization, says the ad isn't intended to offend the golfer: It's a fun, tongue-in-cheek approach. We hope these billboard companies will understand .

As it turns out, Woods isn't too amused by the organization's new campaign. According to, PETA may pull their plans to post the ad, explaining, In light of conversations we have had with Mr. Woods' attorneys, plans to run our billboard are on hold at this time.


24th February   

Slave to Political Correctness...

No smoking advert grabs attention in France
Link Here

A campaign to discourage young people from smoking shows male and female teenagers kneeling in front of a man, as if being forced to have oral sex. A cigarette takes the place of the man's sexual organ. The caption reads: Smoking is to be a slave to tobacco.

The campaign, which was devised for a pressure group supporting the rights of non-smokers, has been attacked as scandalous and potentially counter-productive by feminist and pro-family campaigners.

Marco de la Fuente, the leader of the project for the BDDP et Fils ad agency, said: The old arguments – tobacco is bad for you – don't work any more. The message here is that tobacco is a form of submission. In the popular imagination, oral sex is the perfect symbol of submission.

Gérard Audureau, the president of Les Droits des Non-fumeurs (The Rights of Non-smokers), the pressure group which commissioned the ads, said health arguments did not reach teenagers. Young people think that they are invincible, immortal, he said. Fear of sexual exploitation worries them more than illness.

Opposition to the ads – to be shown in bars, clubs and newspapers – has been widespread. Florence Montreynaud, of the feminist pressure group Chiennes de Garde (Guard Bitches), said that it was inadmissible that an image implying underage sex should be exploited, even in a good cause.

Christiane Terry, of the conservative group Familles de France, said she will lodge a complaint with the French advertising standards watchdog. Mixing up tobacco dependence and sex is ridiculous and scandalous, she said.

The non-smokers' rights group says it does not care if adults are shocked by its posters. Audureau said: Very few anti-smoking campaigns catch the attention of the young. You have to use extreme images to make them take notice.


20th February   

Fragrant Whinges...

ASA dismiss complaints about scent advert
Link Here

A TV ad, for a men's fragrance, showed a man and a woman in an apartment. The couple were shown in a state of undress and were gazing at each other and embracing on a bed. The voice-over stated 212. 212 Men. Carolina Ferrera, New York . The ad was given an ex-kids scheduling restriction by Clearcast. Issue

Three viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive and inappropriate for broadcast before 9pm when children might be watching.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the ad featured a number of sequences showing a couple embracing and looking into one another's eyes and that the ad had a mild sexual overtone. Although we noted the couple were naked from the waist up, we considered that the majority of sequences in the ad focused on head shots and images of the couple looking into each others eyes which were suggestive but not sexually explicit.

We agreed with Puig and Clearcast that an ex-kids restriction, which prevented the ad from being broadcast in or around children's programming, was sufficient for the ad's content. Although we understood the ad may have been distasteful to some, we concluded it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most adult viewers or cause distress to children who might see it.


19th February   

Who's a Stinky Stupid, Baby, Bedwetter?...

ASA allow advert citing medical context
Link Here

A moving internet banner ad on the British Medical Journal Learning website showed a young boy looking miserable next to the headline WHO'S A STINKY, STUPID, BABY BEDWETTER? The next frame showed the young boy smiling next to text which stated MELT AWAY THE MISERY OF BEDWETTING WITH DESMOMELT .

The complainant, a doctor, objected that the ad was offensive and demeaning to patients who suffered from this condition.

ASA Decision: Not upheld

The ASA understood the BMJ front page could be accessed online by anyone and that it contained a link to the BMJ Learning site. We understood that the ad appeared on the front page of the BMJ Learning site, which was open to unregistered users. However, we accepted that the ad was aimed at medical professionals and that the BMJ Learning Site was designed for and aimed at that audience.

Whilst we acknowledged that the headline WHO'S A STINKY, STUPID, BABY BEDWETTER? could be shocking, we considered that it was intended to elicit sympathy for the child depicted, by referring to the taunts they might receive from others. We understood the ad was intended to highlight the product to medical professionals as a potential prescription product which could help alleviate bedwetting. Whilst we accepted the ad might be distressing to some readers who saw it, we concluded it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence in the professional medical contexts in which it was presented.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code 5.1 (Decency: offence) but did not find it in breach.


18th February   

Sh*t Censors...

ASA whinge at poster for The Descent Part 2
Link Here

A poster for the horror film The Descent Part 2 featured an image of a screaming girl's face covered in blood with what appeared to be bloody scratches down it. Behind her, emerging from a red glow, was a monster with his mouth open, baring his teeth. Text from a review at the bottom of the ad stated THE FEEL SH*T SCARED FILM OF THE DECADE .

Eighteen complainants challenged whether the language and imagery used in the ad was offensive and whether the imagery could cause fear or distress, and was therefore appropriate for public display where children might see it.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted that the poster had not been targeted to reach a particular audience, but had appeared in places that were easily visible to all, including children. We noted that the text THE FEEL SH*T SCARED FILM OF THE DECADE was prominent and, although asterisked, we considered the meaning and intention of the word SH*T was clear. We recognised that it was therefore difficult for parents who wanted to ensure that children were not exposed to swearing to avoid it, and we considered that the use of SH*T on this poster, that could be seen by children, was likely to be considered unacceptable. We further considered that it was likely to cause serious offence to some readers who would not expect such language in an untargeted medium.

We also considered that the image of the screaming girl, covered in blood and scratches, with the monster behind her was an aggressive and threatening image. Although we considered that that image was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, we did consider that it could cause distress to younger children. We therefore concluded that, in the context of an untargeted medium where it could be seen by a general audience including children, the poster was unacceptable.


12th February   

Updated: Go to Hell!...

CBS refuses version of TV advert for Dante's Inferno game
Link Here

A Super Bowl advertisement for Electronic Arts' Dante's Inferno game has fallen victim to CBS censors.

An original version of the ad had utilized the tagline Go to Hell, but that phrase was deemed to over the top for viewers of this Sunday's big game and CBS rejected it. The Hollywood Reporter blog reports that EA will instead substitute the more sedate tagline Hell Awaits instead.

Update: Hell Banned

12th February. See article from

Dante's Inferno is not being released in the Middle East. In a move that surprised absolutely no one, EA states that, Electronic Arts has decided not to release Dante's Inferno in the Middle East after an evaluation process which is based on consumer tastes, preferences, platform mix and other factors.

After first setting our eyes on Dante's Inferno last year, it seemed like one of those titles that might never hit the retail shelves in UAE. Dealing with the afterlife, the game focuses on Hell and its 9 circles of sinners within. Such a premise itself is a very touchy topic within the region, one of the reasons why we think Darksiders got banned here.

In fact, this region is so sensitive to such topics that God of War is also banned over here just because it has the word God in the title, despite being based on Greek mythology!


8th February   

Big Drips at London Underground...

Massive Attack album art banned by London Underground
Link Here

The band Massive Attack have been banned from advertising their new album Heligoland on the London Underground because it looked like graffiti.

Robert 3D Del Naja who had to redesign his artwork for stations, said: They won't allow anything on the Tube that looks like street art.

They want us to remove all drips and fuzz. It's the most absurd censorship I've ever seen.


6th February   

Update: Shock Tactics...

Advert censor finds Baby P related PETA advert offensive
Link Here
Full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

A poster, for an animal rights campaign group, featured a picture of Steven Barker. Text next to the picture stated Steven Barker: Animal Abuser, Baby Abuser, Rapist. PEOPLE WHO ARE VIOLENT TOWARDS ANIMALS RARELY STOP THERE . Further text underneath stated Report cruelty to animals immediately PeTA . Issue

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the ad was offensive and distressing, used unnecessary shock tactics and exploited the death of Baby P
  2. the ad, which was also located in the area where Baby P lived and died, was particularly offensive and distressing to residents of that area.

ASA Assessment:   Upheld

The ASA noted PETA's argument that the purpose of the ad was to inform the public to report animal cruelty in order to prevent future acts of violence towards humans. We considered, however, that advertisers who wished to refer to current or emotive news stories in their marketing should take particular care over how such stories were used, in order to avoid accusations of exploitation or shock tactics. We also considered that they should not cause fear or distress without good reason.

We noted that, although Baby P died in August 2007, his death was a high-profile, emotive case which continued to get extensive press coverage. We acknowledged that some people might therefore find the reference to the Baby P case in the poster exploitative. We considered that the claim and image used in the ad had been used in a shocking way merely to attract attention and that the reason did not justify the means in this case. We therefore also considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and distress to some people.

Furthermore, we noted that the poster had appeared in the area where Baby P had lived and died. We considered that the ad was likely to be particularly sensitive for residents of that area, and was likely to cause serious offence and distress to some residents.

We therefore concluded that the ad was in breach of the Code.


4th February   

Harried by Whingers...

Advert censor finds no problem with Harry Brown poster
Link Here

A poster for the film Harry Brown was divided in two sections, and featured a teenage girl and two teenage boys in the upper part of the poster. The girl had her arms wrapped tightly around herself and appeared unhappy. Both boys were holding guns; the centre boy looked menacing and the other boy was naked from the waist up. The bottom half of the poster featured a picture of Michael Caine behind a gun target. Text in the centre of the target stated ONE MAN WILL TAKE A STAND .

A complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive and glamorised and condoned gun crime and violent behaviour.

ASA Decision: Not upheld

The ASA noted that the young people featured in the ad were not glamorous or aspirational figures, and that the two guns were not being brandished in a threatening or aggressive manner, but were pointing away from the reader. We recognised that the content of the poster communicated the theme of the film, and we considered that the text ONE MAN WILL TAKE A STAND at the bottom of the ad explained the film's storyline. Whilst we acknowledged that the ad would not be to everyone's taste, we considered that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, or condone and glamorise gun crime and anti-social behaviour.


4th February   

Over a Barrel...

Austrian feminists easily offended by recruitment advert
Link Here

A recruitment advert for the Austrian army showing young women chasing a tank for a joy-ride has been axed after outraged feminists went on the offensive.

The advert was commissioned to sex-up the image of the military, which has had trouble in recent years getting men to enlist.

Do you want a joy-ride, ladies? yells a macho member of the tank crew, causing the women to race after the armoured vehicle. The pun in the question was fully intended, admitted the Austrian military.

But feminists were predictably easily offended. Judith Goetz, who is in charge of feminist issues at the Austrian Students' Union, said: It is totally archaic to show such an obviously sexist video when women are part of the Austrian military.

The video opens with a macho-looking man with legs spread wide sitting on the hood of his Audi car surrounded by four young women. He is interrupted in his effort to persuade them to join him for a joy-ride when a tank comes to a screeching halt in front of his car.

A soldier climbs out of the tank's hatch, rubs his hand suggestively along the cannon, jumps down in front of the girls and asks them if they would like to go for a joy-ride in his vehicle instead. The girls screech in excitement and begin to follow him. Then come to the Austrian army. Then you can drive a tank! the soldier says. He speeds away pursued by the shrieking women.

Our clip is so dorky it's brilliant, said Colonel Johann Millonig, of the army's marketing department. But the feminist cyber-war on the high command. So many e-mails were received that defence minister Norbert Darabos asked the army to remove the video from the ministry's website.


2nd February   

Vegetable Abuse...

US sex shop's humerous adverts wind up Texas nutters
Link Here

Sara's Secrets/Condoms To Go chain has 12 stores in the conservative state of Texas. It has come up with a couple of knee-slappers for an advertising campaign, including the pictured billboard on I-35 and the TV ad that gave rise to it.

We ran that at the end of last year, explained Sara's Secret VP. We try to make our advertising entertaining and edgy; those are the two words we keep in mind. Because anybody can watch a whole evening of TV and I bet that they cannot recall one commercial, so obviously you've got to do something that will stand out from the noise, and this commercial hits the spot, and the billboards are kind of a follow-up to it.

What we want to do is create advertising that will stir people, he continued. Whether they're stirred because they don't like the advertising or stirred because they find it really funny, this particular combination really hit the spot. Here in Texas, which is a pretty conservative state, the churchgoers certainly give us their opinion, but CBS-11 did a story on it last night, and if you go to the comments underneath it, you'll see that the positive comments are overwhelming compared to the negative ones. People have come to our website and commented, and we're getting more positive comments there too.


30th January   

Fashion Police...

Advert censor whinges at Fly53 fashion advert
Link Here

An ad for the fashion brand Fly53, which appeared in NME magazine, showed one man holding a gun against the head of a second man, who seemed to be seated. The man holding the gun had one hand held tightly against the throat of the other man, who had closed eyes and clenched teeth. The men seemed to be in a dark room. The bottom of the ad contained a list of words in small text: CONFESSION REVIVAL RETRIBUTION TORMENT ATONEMENT DIVINITY ; the word CONFESSION was highlighted. Below that, small text stated FLY53 OUTFITTERS FOR THE RESISTANCE CONCEIVED DESIGNED AND BORN INTO THE WORLD TO PROTECT AND SERVE THE 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE .

A complainant thought the ad's depiction of gun crime was offensive, irresponsible and unsuitable for display in a music magazine, because it glamorised violence.

Fly53 said the ad campaign was based on the fictitious House of Fly53 , which consumers could explore on their website. Each room in the house had a theme - Confession, Revival, Retribution, Torment, Atonement and Divinity - and was intended to show people in a state of heightened senses, with blurred boundaries between the real and surreal. The ad was based on the Confession room. Fly53 explained that to be fully accepted into the house, visitors must first confess their fashion crimes. They could then move through the house to the final room where they reached Atonement in the world of Fly53. The house was supposed to have a fantastical and cinematic feel and was not intended to be realistic.

Fly53 believed displaying the image out of the context of the House of Fly53 might have taken away the essence and story of the house, leading to the misinterpretation that the ad glamorised violence. They apologised for any offence caused and stated that, as a result of the complaint, they had withdrawn the image from advertising in print media.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA considered the way in which one man was holding a gun to the head of another, with his hand held tightly against the other man's throat, was aggressive and threatening. The seated man, who had closed eyes and clenched teeth, seemed to be frightened and suffering, and the darkness of the room in which the two men were depicted contributed to the menacing atmosphere. We disagreed that the violence depicted would be seen as cartoon-like and considered that it seemed realistic. Although the image resembled a scene from a film, we noted the ad was for a clothing brand and not, for example, a film with violent scenes, which made it more likely that its portrayal of violence would be seen as gratuitous. We considered the small text FLY53 OUTFITTERS FOR THE RESISTANCE CONCEIVED DESIGNED AND BORN INTO THE WORLD TO PROTECT AND SERVE THE 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE was incongruous when juxtaposed with an image of violence, and could be seen as glamorising it. We were of the view that any attempts to link the ad's image more closely with the House of Fly53 would not necessarily have made it any less problematic.

We considered that the ad's depiction of gun crime was likely to be seen as glamorising and condoning real violence. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and was irresponsible and unsuitable for display in a music magazine.


27th January

 Offsite: Kickabout with a Hot Potato...

Link Here
Controversial adverts for the TV broadcast of the Super Bowl

See article from


24th January   

Cliched Censors...

Swedish gay awareness advert refused by Swedish newspapers
Link Here

An advertisement featuring three partially naked women was deemed inappropriate for publication by two newspapers in southern Sweden, shocking officials at the sexual health organization who created the ad.

We are really surprised because we don't think it's controversial, Mikael Andersson of the Skone-based affiliate of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, told the advertising trade magazine Resumé.

Andersson's comments came after learning that two prominent newspapers in southern Sweden, Sydsvenskan and City, refused to run the advertisement, one of four in a campaign entitled 'Love has many faces'.

The campaign, which includes both print and television ads, was part of an effort by local branch RFSL to strengthen the identity of homosexual, bisexual, and transgender people living in the region.

According to Sydsvenskan editor-in-chief Daniel Sandstrom, the fourth ad in the series, which featured three partially clothed women wrapped in a seemingly passionate embrace, was unacceptable.

I have no problem with printing provocative images ...BUT... the picture in question simply didn't meet standards of acceptability. I think rather that it reproduces a cliché-filled image of lesbian love.


20th January   


Advert censor whinges at irate German stereotype
Link Here

A radio ad, for a recruitment website, featured a man speaking to his boss who responded angrily and loudly in German. The voice-over said Boss a bit of a tyrant? Find your perfect boss on the UK's biggest job site ... .

Thirteen listeners believed the ad was offensive to Germans, because it used an outdated stereotype and implied all Germans were tyrants.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) believed most listeners would regard the scenario as humorous and inoffensive and were likely to understand that the ranting boss was a tyrant, because he responded angrily to his colleague rather than in a calm way. The RACC said the character was a generic German-sounding orator , which they believed was a well established type in comedy culture, but they did not believe the mock angry conversation, when heard alongside the phrase Boss a bit of a tyrant? , implied that all Germans were tyrants. The RACC said they did not regard the German people as a minority group, as defined by the CAP (Broadcast) Radio Advertising Standards Code, or that the scenario would be seen as a stereotype likely to cause general or serious offence to German people.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the use of stereotypes was an inevitable part of establishing a character in a short radio ad, but nonetheless considered that such stereotypes should not perpetuate damaging misconceptions. We noted the ad used a German speaker, rather than someone speaking English, to portray the boss as a bit of a tyrant and the humour derived from a stereotype at the expense of German people. We considered that the portrayal suggested that German people were more likely to be unreasonable or aggressive to others.

We concluded that, given the extreme reaction and aggressive tone of the German speaking boss, the ad reinforced a negative and outdated cultural stereotype of German people as overpowering and tyrannical and therefore the ad had the potential to cause serious offence to some listeners.

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


20th January   

Censorship Nazis...

Hitler cartoon on night club promotion winds up the authorities
Link Here

Polish nightclub has come under criminal investigation after it used an image of Adolf Hitler to promote an event.

The Klub Muzyczny Sklot, located in Warsaw's bohemian Praga district, had hoped that the picture of a typically animated Hitler sporting a pair of banana-yellow glasses would attract customers to the event but so far it has only caught the eye of the prosecutor's office.

Polish law outlaws the use of images and symbols associated with totalitarian regimes if they are deemed to be promoting a political system.

Investigators are considering whether the disco's management intended to glorify Hitler or made an innocent mistake.

Conceding that the club had made a mess , one of the organisers of the event, a man known only as Ruff T., issued a hasty apology, and said that they had meant no offence.


18th January   

Showing their Claws...

Air New Zealand advert offends predatory nutters
Link Here

Air New Zealand has drawn strong criticism with its online campaign that depicts single middle-aged women as cougars on the look out for sex with young men.

The country's national carrier came up with the documentary styled clip, showing women in their 30s, 40s and 50s hunting men in their 20s, many of whom pretend to be gay to avoid their claws.

The promotion was put up to encourage women aged 35 and above to invite their pictures with their cougar mates and enter the draw for a deal including a flight and ticket to a sporting event, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The ad has left women's rights groups and rape prevention organisations fuming and has been dubbed as derogatory for women and also for men who have been rape victims.

Kim McGregor, director, New Zealand's Rape Prevention Education said: We have also had complaints from male survivors who have been raped by women and they are very distressed that their situation is being laughed at and made out to be humorous.

An airline spokeswoman justified the ad saying it was supposed to be light-hearted but some older women had taken a bit of offence to it .


18th January   

Clearcast Bullies...

TV advert censor bans bullying advert suitable for 12A cinema showings
Link Here

An anti-bullying advert that was ruled 'too shocking' to appear on television has been launched online.

The film, which includes scenes where a teenage girl sews her own mouth shut, will be also be shown in cinemas before films rated 12A and above.

It is part of a £1.2 million campaign launched by children's charity Beatbullying.

The advert promotes a website,, which allows young people who have been bullied to help each other and discuss their problems.

A spokeswoman for Clearcast, which decides which adverts can be shown on British television, said it was felt some scenes would be viewed as offensive.

Beatbullying's chief executive, Emma-Jane Cross, said: We are proud of this advert and the way it makes you stop and understand the impact bullying can have on its victims.

But we were disappointed that Clearcast refused to let this advert go on to TV. We know that 69% of young people have been bullied and it is imperative that people know is there to give them support.


14th January   

Council Bullshit...

Sedgemoor council whinge at mild innuendo
Link Here

As reported at,

The family of well-known local livestock owner Arthur Duckett introduced the poster over the Christmas period to wish him a happy 80th birthday.

It shows Duckett and his huge steer, Field Marshall, with the caption a little man with big bulls.

Duckett received a letter from Council enforcement officer David Crowle, stating: It is the council's view that the adverts are detrimental to the amenity of the area and as such will seek their removal. It asked whether Duckett woud be prepared to take down the hoardings without the need for formal action and warned that failure to abide by regulations could lead to a £400 fine or two years' imprisonment.

Quite apart from the appalling treatment of a well-liked 80 year-old man, in forcing him to remove the poster the council is pandering to the most wretched, humourless people who are apparently incapable of appreciating a mild joke with only the slightest hint of anything that could be deemed offensive.


10th January   

Finger Wagging Good...

Advert with West Indian crowd enjoying fried chicken accused of racial stereotyping
Link Here

The Australian arm of the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken has had to withdraw an advertisement after accusations of supposed racial insensitivity.

It showed a white cricket fan trying to pacify a group of rowdy West Indian fans by handing around fried chicken.

When the advertisement reached America via the internet there were complaints. It was accused of reinforcing a derogatory racial stereotype linking black people in the American deep south with a love of fried food.

The advertisement from Kentucky Fried Chicken features a white cricket fan dressed in the green and gold of the Australian team surrounded by a group of West Indian supporters, who are dancing and singing to a calypso beat. He decides to quieten them down by handing around a bucket of fried chicken.

The fast food chain's head office in America said it was withdrawing the advertisement, and apologised for what it called any misrepresentation which might have caused offense.


10th January   

Immature Bus Company...

ESA challenge Chicago Transit Authority's games advert ban
Link Here

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has won a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) over the banning of advertisements for adult-rated videogames.

An ordinance that took effect in January of 2009 prohibited any advertisement that markets or identifies a video or computer game rated 'Mature 17+' (M) or 'Adults Only 18+' (AO). The ESA argued that such a ban unconstitutionally restricts speech in a public forum that is otherwise open to all speakers without a compelling interest for doing so.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the ESA an injunction, with Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer stating: …the advertisements the CTA wishes to ban promote expression that has constitutional value and implicates core First Amendment concerns.


9th January   

Career Women Make Angry Mothers...

Provocative advert provokes mothers
Link Here

An advertising campaign that featured the message Career women make bad mothers has been pulled from about 4,000 billboards around the country after a vehement response by irate mothers.

The Outdoor Advertising Association (OAA) hoped that its £1.25 million campaign, which also included a slogan designed to provoke England football fans that read 1966 — It won't happen this year , would show the power of billboards to inspire debate at a dedicated website, but they underestimated the potency of maternal wrath.

Mothers did indeed go online in droves, but not to Britainthinks, the internet forum set up by the advertisers. Instead, they flocked to Mumsnet. In a message thread that ran to almost 1,000 posts, they published details of the creative agency responsible for the advert, its other clients and anyone who could be used to exert pressure to have the posters withdrawn.

Four days later, shell-shocked by the torrent of abuse directed at them, the OAA apologised and promised to remove or cover up the posters as soon as possible.

Beta, the agency that created the advert, also caved in to pressure. Garry Lace, Beta's co-founder, had demanded that Mumsnet compensate him and his company for damage to their reputations, but capitulated with an apology. He denied that he was about to commence legal proceedings against Mumsnet despite admitting that he sent an e-mail to Justine Roberts, the website's managing director, in which he threatened to engage in a process to ensure ... that we are compensated for the hurt, corporate loss and reputational damage that we have suffered .

Lace said that he had relaxed his position since Mumsnet removed some of the more personal messages, but said: If my people continue to be called fucking tossers then I will take a point of view about it.


8th January   

Spine-Chilling Revenge...

Advert censor not scared by Last House on the Left advert
Link Here

A radio ad, for the DVD release of a horror film, included audio clips of a man screaming and a male character saying I want to hear you beg for your life . The voice-over stated What would you do if the gang that attacked your daughter sought refuge in your home? 'Last House on the Left' out now exclusively at Blockbuster. A story of kidnapping, brutality and spine-chilling revenge ... . Issue

A listener believed that the ad was unsuitable for broadcast during the day when children could be listening.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) said, at the time they cleared the ad, they advised that it should not be broadcast next to news items about violent crime in order to avoid insensitive scheduling and possible distress to some listeners. Nonetheless, although they noted the brief scream sound effect, they believed the tone of the ad was not overly threatening or frightening and the style and words of the voice-over undermined the impression of horror. They believed that, taken as a whole, the ad was unlikely to harm or distress children and therefore did not issue additional scheduling care instructions.

ASA Decision: Not upheld

The ASA noted the brief scream and the line of dialogue from the film, I want to hear you beg for your life , but also noted that the voice-over was spoken in a breezy, matter-of-fact, non-threatening way. We considered it was clear that the ad was for a film and the tone and style of the voice-over removed any potential for horror. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to harm children and had been scheduled appropriately.


8th January   

Goa Goes GaGa...

Bikini adverts banned in Goa
Link Here

Fighting against the slur of turning into a sex-tourism destination, the Goa tourism department has decided to censor all advertisements showing bikini babes .

Goa is a family holiday destination and not sex tourism destination. We will make sure that bikini babes do not symbolise Goa tourism in future, state Tourism Minister Fransisco Pacheco told PTI .

He said the tourism department will ask all empanelled advertisement agencies to desist from using scantily-clad women in their campaigns.

The department has already stopped such ads but I will make sure that henceforth all advertisements are scrutinised by the department before being sent for printing, Pacheco said.


6th January   

Filthy Minds at the ASA...

Advert censor whinges at nightclub advert
Link Here

A flyer, distributed in Leeds city centre for a night club, featured a collage of images including naked women and a sex toy. It was headlined Filth THE SLUT PARTY SAT OCTOBER 10TH @ THE MINT CLUB, LEEDS . The reverse included text that stated £8 ENTRY TO THE FIRST 50 SLUTS .

Issue 1. Four complainants, three of whom believed that it degraded and demeaned women objected that the ad was offensive.

Issue 2. Two complainants felt that the ad was irresponsible, because it could be seen by children.

The Mint Club said they operated the venue which had been hired to the promotional company, Filth UK, for the event. They said the flyer in question was for a regular event called Filth, which had an individual theme for each monthly event, the flyers theme was a Slut Party . They maintained that they had received no complaints and pointed out that the event was a house music dance night with a party atmosphere where over half of customers were female, many wearing fancy dress.

The Mint Club maintained that the flyers were distributed very carefully and were strictly regulated by Leeds City Council in that respect. They said the flyers were only given out to potential customers and maintained that distribution staff were instructed carefully in what they had to do. The Mint Club did not accept that children would have seen them.

ASA Assessment: 1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured imagery of female nudity in a collage which centred on an image of a sex toy. Although the leaflet was intended to be in keeping with the nature of the event, we considered that the imagery, in conjunction with the title of the event, The Slut Party, and text that stated £8 ENTRY TO THE FIRST 50 SLUTS , was likely to cause serious offence to those who believed it was sexually explicit and degrading to women. We also noted several of the complainants had seen the leaflets in Leeds city centre, some of which appeared to have been discarded and were visible to people who had not been specifically selected as potential customers by the distribution staff. Consequently, we considered that there was a reasonable possibility that such material could be seen by the general public, including children. We considered that such material was unsuitable to be viewed by children and concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Latest 
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec    












melonfarmers icon











Film Index

Film Cuts

Film Shop

Sex News

Sex Sells

Adult Store Reviews

Adult DVD & VoD

Adult Online Stores

New Releases/Offers

Latest Reviews

FAQ: Porn Legality

Sex Shops List

Lap Dancing List

Satellite X List

Sex Machines List

John Thomas Toys