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Advertising News

2010: Oct-Dec

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25th December   

Update: Branded as Unacceptable...

Advertisers pull out from 4 on Demand over Frankie Boyle
Link Here
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week

L'Oreal and Nestle are pulling out from 4 on Demand over Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights show.

Beauty company L'Oreal are taking down their adverts from the 4 on Demand website where Boyle's show is available, the Daily Mirror revealed.

Nestle, which promotes its Nespresso coffee machine on the site, also said they will not renew their advertising contract.

A L'Oreal spokesman said: This is not language we condone and we are pulling the online advert.

A Nestle spokesman said: Nespresso offers its sincere apologies for any distress caused.

Frankie Boyle is now 9/4 to be sacked after bookmakers slashed odds from 5/1 - and he is 8/13 to issue an apology. A spokesman for Ladbrokes said: We think this could be the final straw. Even if he apologises the P45 could already be in the post.


25th December   

Update: Same Old...

Ofcom whinges at The Pad on Tease Me TV 2
Link Here
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

The Pad
Tease Me TV 2, 19 October 2010, 17:00 to 18:00

The Pad is a televised daytime interactive chat advertisement broadcast on the service Tease Me TV 2 (Sky channel number 902) under a licence held by Playboy TV UK/Benelux Limited. Playboy has compliance responsibility for all programmes broadcast on Tease Me TV 2 service, including The Pad.

Ofcom received a complaint about the above broadcast. The complainant was concerned that the female presenter.s breasts were exposed and she was adopting various sexual positions and behaving in a clearly overtly sexual manner . The complainant also said that the presenter was on all fours clearly simulating sexual intercourse and this content is clearly inappropriate for the time of day .

Ofcom noted that the female presenter was wearing a revealing pink dress, which at times exposed a considerable amount of her breasts, and which was cut down at the back to reveal her buttocks. Underneath she was not wearing a bra but did was wearing a pink thong. During the broadcast the presenter positioned her buttocks to camera, bent over on all fours with her legs wide open and lay on her side with her legs open. While in these positions she repeatedly gyrated and thrust her hips. The presenter also walked up to the camera to show her breasts in close up, repeatedly touched and stroked her breasts and buttocks, and jiggled her breasts.

Ofcom investigated under the BCAP advertising Code:

  • Rule 4.2: Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.
  • Rule 32.3: Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements  that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 4.2 and 32.3

In Ofcom's view, the revealing clothing, and repeated actions and sexual positions of the presenter were intended to be sexually provocative in nature and the broadcast of such images was not suitable to advertise daytime chat and could not be justified by the context in which it was presented.

In light of this behaviour and imagery, Ofcom concluded that under BCAP Code Rule 32.3 the material during this daytime broadcast was clearly unsuitable for children.

We also concluded under BCAP Code Rule 4.2 that, given the nature and scheduling of the material, it would cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.

Recently in August 2010 Ofcom recorded a breach of the Broadcasting Code against Playboy for content broadcast on the service Tease Me TV 2. This finding stated that we will expect, in future, Playboy to have in place adequate compliance arrangements . Ofcom is therefore concerned that despite this previous guidance Playboy did not have adequate compliance arrangements and staff in place on this occasion to ensure that the material acquired from the third party producer was compliant with the relevant Code. Ofcom considers this breach of the BCAP Code a serious matter and should there be any similar contraventions, Ofcom will consider further regulatory action. 

Those services operating in the sector of daytime and adult chat should be aware that Ofcom will not tolerate repeated breaches of the Code in this area. Ofcom has serious concerns about industry compliance in this area and we will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action where necessary (which may include fines and revocation of licences).


24th December   

Update: Good Without God...

Atheist bus campaign still going strong
Link Here
Full story: Atheist Buses...Atheists fund adverts about enjoying life

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), has adopted a policy that bans buses and bus benches from carrying religious and atheist ads.

The adoption came weeks after atheist ads declaring Millions of Americans are good without God were launched on four city buses. The ads sparked debate and drew criticism from nutters who considered the campaign an insult to Christianity, especially during the Christmas season.

The board of directors' revised existing guidelines by expanding the list of banned ads to include religious, nontheistic or faith-based ads.

The agency's staff recommended adding the exclusion of any faith-based ads because of the distraction from its core business and excessive staff time that have been required to respond to the recent controversy over religious versus atheist ads on The T's buses, The T stated.

The Good without God ads were sponsored by the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason. The group said the campaign was designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god and to guide those interested to the 15 area nontheistic groups that make up the DFW coalition. The atheist group had also planned to run the ads on Dallas buses, but the Dallas Area Rapid Transit rejected the campaign.

A blue mobile billboard truck carrying a pro-Christian message is currently shadowing the buses. The billboard reads I still love you. – God and 2.1 billion people are good with God.


22nd December   

Fighting Censorship...

Ofcom censor Playstation Move advert
Link Here

A poster for the Playstation Move motion controller and the game, The Fight: Lights Out , showed the same man in three different poses, throwing punches, each time appearing closer to the viewer. At the forefront of the ad, the man held a computer generated character in a headlock with his arm raised, as if to punch them in the face. In the background the ad showed four men on a sofa facing viewers, three of whom held up their fists. Text stated MOVE INTO THE FIGHT £34.99 RRP! Playstation Move THE GAME IS JUST THE START... .

  1. Three complainants objected that the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it showed graphic violence which might be seen as encouraging or condoning violent behaviour.
  2. Two complainants, who understood that the game player was white and the computer-generated character was black, objected that the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it might be seen to encourage or condone racist violence.
  3. Two complainants objected that the content of the ad was unsuitable to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the ad was stylised but considered that, because the model was shown about to punch another character which, although computer-generated, looked human, the ad was likely to be seen to condone or encourage violent behaviour. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and be seen as irresponsible.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.4 (Harm and offence).

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the men appeared to have slightly different skin tones, but considered that readers were unlikely to view the ad as depicting a racist attack. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to be seen as encouraging or condoning racist violence in a way that was irresponsible or would cause serious or widespread offence on those grounds.

3. Upheld

We considered that, because the ad could be seen to condone or encourage violence or anti-social behaviour, it was unsuitable to be seen by children.

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


21st December   

Update: Smokin' Hot...

Ofcom whinges at LivexxxBabes for eroticised smoking
Link Here
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

LivexxxBabes, 5 October 2010, 13:20

LivexxxBabes is a free to air babe channel where sexy presenters try and entice viewers into premium rate phone chats.

In this particular broadcast on 5 October 2010 the female presenter smoked a cigarette heavily for a period of around three minutes, direct to camera and in close up.

Ofcom now censors babe channels according to advertising rules and in particular the Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice.

And in this case Ofcom considered:

  • Rule: 10.3 (Advertisements must not promote smoking or the use of tobacco products.).

LivexxxBabes is run by SEL who said that the BCAP Code was an industry code of practice and not set in law and it questioned Ofcom's power to enforce the advertising industry's own voluntary code of self-regulation.

In response Ofcom explained that: under the Communications Act 2003 Ofcom is required to set advertising standards for the content of television programmes and that had Ofcom contracted out this function to BCAP, who in turn fulfilled this function in setting the BCAP Code; under a condition of their licences, licensees are required to observe the BCAP Code; and that Ofcom has powers to establish procedures for the handling and resolution of complaints about the observance of these standards.

Ofcom Decision: In breach

The Principle at the start of Section 10 of the BCAP Code (Prohibited categories) sets out that: Broadcast advertisements for some products…are not permitted either because those products may not be legally advertised or because of a clear potential for harm…to the audience or to society . BCAP Rule 10.3 states that advertisements must not promote smoking or the use of tobacco products.

Ofcom noted that this PRS-based daytime chat teleshopping programming featured a female presenter wearing skimpy lingerie and smoking heavily. The presenter was shown inhaling a cigarette and blowing smoke to the camera over a period of around three minutes. Ofcom noted that the smoking featured heavily in the broadcast at this time. The camera closed in on the presenter's face and showed her enjoyment of the inhalation and exhalation of the cigarette. However, in Ofcom's view: the advertisement's focus was clearly on the act of smoking and the female presenter's evident enjoyment of it; the prolonged and drawn out nature of the sequence promoted this activity as something desirable; and, the smoking was clearly intended to be an additional enticement to viewers to call in to this teleshopping channel.

In Ofcom's opinion this promoted smoking or the use of tobacco products in breach of Rule 10.3 of the BCAP Code.


19th December   

Fares lower than your grandma's boobs...

Nutters easily offended by New Zealand air fares advert
Link Here

Air New Zealand is removing a billboard in Nelson with the tagline Fares lower than your grandma's boobs after it sparked complaints that it is tacky, ageist and disrespectful to women.

The billboard was advertising Air NZ's cheap seat site, Grabaseat.

Stop Demand Foundation, which campaigns against sexual violence and sex abuse, wanted the billboard taken down and an apology from Air NZ. Yes, most of us like 'edgy and provocative', said Stop Demand founder Denise Ritchie.... [BUT] .. Most of us don't like, or accept, 'sexist and ageist'. Most of us know the difference. Apparently you do not.

Grabaseat manager Duane Perrott said the slogan was an entry in a competition from a Wellington resident whose grandmother lived in Nelson: What this person thought was funny, as did many others, clearly didn't resonate with some individuals today and Grabaseat will be removing the billboard shortly. We apologise if any offense was caused.

Family First had also called for the withdrawal of the billboard, saying it insulted grandparents and would be seen by children.


18th December   

Open Top Car Advert...

Italian nutters easily offended by light hearted advert with lesbian theme
Link Here

A car advertisement that shows two lesbians meeting at a party has been banned in Italy.

Italian TV chiefs are refusing to broadcast the 30 second advertisement made by Publicis for the new Renault Twingo, The Daily Mail reports.

The commercial, which commentators have noted for not presenting any technical aspects of the car, begins with two attractive women noticing each other at a house party. The blonde woman follows the brunette to a bedroom and peeks through the door to see her removing her pink top before she lies down on the bed and smiles.

The brunette smiles cheekily and blindfolds the blonde with a black stocking, but she then quickly moves off the bed, grabs the other woman's discarded top from the floor, puts it on and leaves. Outside viewers see the blonde walking to a Renault which is the same colour as the shirt.

Italian gay nutter groups have slammed the advertisement, claiming it is offensive to lesbians.

Publicis spokesperson Daniele Tranchini said the advert was meant to be enjoyable but not vulgar: We wanted to create an advert that was original, enjoyable and at the same time not vulgar and I believe we have achieved that .


11th December   

Update: Is ASA Mocking British Free Speech?...

Antonio Federici ice cream makers consider challenging ASA ban on mild religious mockery
Link Here

Ice cream company Antonio Federici is challenging ASA's ban on religiously satirical ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has demanded that the Antonio Federici ice cream company signs an undertaking not to run the ad again, or any other advertising which may cause serious or widespread offence.

But the family behind the Antonio Federici ad has refused to make that promise and is seeking legal advice.

The ASA has threatened to ban all advertising for the brand if it refuses to comply.

The move comes after the ASA's decision to ban an advert depicting two gay priests enjoying a tub of ice cream, based on just eight complaints.

Antonio Federici described the decision as, openly homophobic and astonishing given the Chairman of the ASA (Lord Chris Smith) was himself the UK's first openly gay MP.

A spokesman for Antonio Federici said: We come from the Father Ted school of advertising where freedom of speech should be a right. We have a long and honourable tradition of satirising politics and religion. What's changed?

In October the National Secular Society called on the communications minister Ed Vaizey to institute an inquiry into the ASA's decision arguing they had reinstated the blasphemy law unilaterally.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: The advertisements for this ice cream were mildly satirical, featuring priests and nuns apparently enjoying the sensuality of the ice cream – and each other. This is either the result of religious activists flexing their 'blasphemy muscles' or religious believers who aren't very confident in their faith and feel that even the mildest humorous reference must be suppressed. I hope that Federici bring this to court and have this over-the-top censorship overturned.

In October 2010, the ASA wrote in their published assessment of the advert:

The ASA noted the CAP Code stated that ads should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability .

We noted the ad used the text We Believe in Salivation as a theme to refer to the taste of the product and to the image of the priests, who were portrayed in a seductive pose as if they were about to kiss passionately. We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 11) clause 5.1 (Decency).


8th December   

ASA Undisputed...

Advert censor clears shopping centre video advert for UFC computer game
Link Here

A video broadcast in shopping centres, for computer game Ultimate Fighting Championship Undisputed 2010 , featured images of real people intercut with clips from the game. The ad included various headshots of fighters, which morphed into one another as they said So, you wanna be a fighter? It's not just how hard you hit, or how fast you can move. It's about knowing you can be the best. It's about courage and commitment. So, you wanna be a fighter? . Solitary fighters were then shown training and practising punches in the ring; one fighter aimed a punch directly at the camera. Fighters were shown wrestling, throwing each other onto the floor, kicking, punching and pinning each other down. Dramatic, climatic music was played throughout the ad.

A member of the public challenged whether the ad could cause distress to children and was suitable for broadcast in a shopping centre where children could see it, because his four-year-old daughter was upset by the aggressive and violent images shown.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA understood that the ad had been submitted to CAP Copy Advice and changes made following their recommendations to tone down the visuals.

We considered that the ad made clear the sporting context for the training and fighting shown and, although it featured fighters wrestling, kicking, punching and pinning each other down, the content was not overtly violent for the type of action shown. We acknowledged the upset caused to the complaints young daughter, but considered that the ad was unlikely to be frightening to children and concluded that it was not inappropriate for display in the shopping centre.


7th December   

Update: Doing the Dirty...

Ofcom make it up as they go along judging babe channel against advertising rules
Link Here
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Dirty Talk Live
Dirty Talk, 2 September 2010, 21:00 to 22:00

Dirty Talk Live is a free to air babe channel.

Ofcom received a complaint about alleged inappropriate adult content broadcast at various times between 21:00 and 22:00 on 2 September 2010. The complainant considered the presenter continually simulated both sexual intercourse and oral sex too soon after the watershed.

From 1 September 2010, daytime chat and adult sex chat broadcast services were no longer regulated under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code as editorial content but as long form advertising (teleshopping). However Ofcom has retained responsibility for regulation of daytime chat and adult sex chat services but under the Advertising Standards Authority BCAP Code.

Ofcom noted the presenter was wearing a basque, fishnet stockings, and a thong. On several occasions between 21:00 and 21:30 and throughout the remainder of the broadcast the presenter knelt on all fours with her buttocks pointing upwards and lay on her back with her legs open to camera. While in both of these positions she thrust her hips powerfully in a sexual manner so as to mimic sexual intercourse. Although fully clothed, she also stroked her breasts, lightly spanked her buttocks, opened her mouth in a sexual rather than flirtatious manner and mimed oral sex. Ofcom noted the images described above were shown very shortly after the 21:00 watershed, starting at 21:03.

Ofcom considered BCAP Code Rule:

  • Rule 32.3 Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of BCAP Code Rule 32.3

In applying BCAP Code Rule 32.3 Ofcom had first to decide if the broadcast material was unsuitable for children. With regards to this broadcast, Ofcom noted that on a number of occasions between 21:00 and 21:30 (and as early as 21:03) the female presenter adopted sexually provocative positions - for example, kneeling on all fours with her buttocks in the air and thrusting heavily and gyrating her hips. She was also seen lying on her back for prolonged periods with her legs open to camera and thrusting her hips. Ofcom noted that whilst in this position the on-screen graphics obscured the presenter's genital area to some extent. In adopting these positions, in Ofcom's view, the presenter was mimicking sexual intercourse. In Ofcom's opinion, this material was clearly unsuitable for children.

Ofcom then went on to consider whether relevant timing restrictions had been applied to the material in question. Ofcom noted that this programme was broadcast on a channel without mandatory restricted access in the period immediately after the 21:00 watershed, which is in place to protect minors.

Ofcom then considered the likely expectations of the audience for programmes broadcast at this time of day on a channel without mandatory restricted access. In its opinion, viewers (and in particular parents) would not expect such material to be broadcast so soon after 21:00.

As regards timing restrictions for scheduling, Ofcom has made clear in numerous previous published findings that stronger material should appear later in the schedule and that the transition to more adult material should not be unduly abrupt at the 21:00 watershed. Ofcom therefore considered that the time of broadcast and the location of the channel were not sufficient to justify the broadcast of sexually provocative behaviour such as that included in this broadcast so soon after the 21:00 watershed.

Given the images described above were broadcast between 21:00 and 21:30, Ofcom considered relevant timing restrictions were not applied on this occasion to broadcast content which was unsuitable for children. This broadcast was therefore in breach of BCAP Code Rule 32.3.

Bluebird On Essex Birds

Essex Babes has again failed to provide programme recordings for Ofcom.

Ofcom has again found them in Breach of Licence Condition 11 (retention and production of recordings).

And Ofcom upped the ante on their warning:

As a result of the [previous] breach of licences recorded on 22 November 2010, the Licensee was put on notice that those contraventions of its licences were being considered for the imposition of a statutory sanction. These two further breaches of one of its licences will be added to the Licensee's compliance record and will be considered for sanction in addition to the breaches previously recorded.


6th December   

Film Makers at a Loss...

MPAA ban poster over weapon held by child
Link Here

Bereavement , writer/director Stevan Mena's gruesome prequel to Maleviolence , hasn't gone before the MPAA yet, but the US film censor has already turned thumbs down on the movie's poster.

The MPAA has banned the poster for depicting a child holding a weapon, Mena tells Fangoria: It's hugely disappointing, because that poster really encapsulated the plot of the film with an intriguing image. It's a real setback for us, considering the challenges we already face competing for attention with a small budget.

Bereavement explores the childhood of serial killer Martin Bristol, when he is kidnapped by a psychopath and forced to witness horrible acts of murder.


4th December   

Ooh La La...

Cringingly PC advert censor whinges at Swedish hotel innuendo
Link Here

Nordic hotel chain First Hotels has been slammed by the Swedish advert censor, Reklamombudsman (RO) for an internet campaign featuring hotel staff and sexual innuendo.

The two adverts, which respectively feature a bellboy and a chambermaid sitting on a bed under the text Sleep with us , are discriminatory and in breach of International Chamber of Commerce rules, according to the RO.

By their clothing and pose they are presented as pure sex objects in a way that can be considered offensive to women and men in general, the ombudsman argued.

The text 'Sleep with us' and 'Our first members are getting it on a regular basis' further strengthens the offensive impression, the ombudsman argued.

The ombudsman detailed that the ads had a further feature with a clickable text inviting guests to Go to bed .

First Hotels meanwhile argued that the adverts are intended to display the humour of its staff. The firm, which operates 47 hotels across Scandinavia, argued that the retro French maid and bell boy attire was evidence of this playful approach and rejected accusations of discrimination, pointing out that both sexes were represented in the ads.

I think we did everything we could to be balanced, Telling said, explaining that the campaign's objective was to recruit members to its loyalty programme.

Several complainants who reported the campaign argued that it appeared the hotel was offering prostitution services.


1st December   

Carry On Crabbie...

ASA dismisses whinges about Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer advert
Link Here

A radio ad, for Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer, stated Another Wizard Crabbies gastro pub get together . A man said OK Peter, Amy wants the pork and I fancy the Mediterranean tart . Peter said Ticketyboo! And what about you Sarah? Sarah said I think I'll go for the chef's T-bone with nut stuffing . Amy said Are you sure Sarah? I had it last time and it was very filling . Sarah said Cripes! You're right Amy, maybe I should stick with my special burger . Peter said Wizard! I'll go order. All we need now is the warming spices of Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer served over ice with a slice . A voice-over said Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer. Refreshing ginger beer only for grown-ups . Peter said I say gang, does anybody want my spotted dick?

1. Four listeners objected that the ad was inappropriate for broadcast at a time when children would hear it because it contained sexual innuendos.

2. One of those listeners, who reported that his three-and-a-half-year-old heard the ad and had since been asking for Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer , also complained that the ad promoted an alcoholic drink in a playful way that was likely to appeal to children.

BCAP Code Response

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the ad contained sexual innuendos and was broadcast at a time when children might hear it. However, we considered that, because the innuendos were mild and unlikely to be understood by young children, they were unlikely to cause harm or otherwise be considered unsuitable for them. We concluded that the ad was acceptable without a scheduling restriction.

2. Not upheld

We considered that the style of the ad was unlikely to be of particular appeal to listeners under the age of 18 and that the content was clearly directed at people over the age of 18. We concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.


27th November   

Update: Be Proud of Your Body Scan...

Airports ban Peta adverts having fun with invasive security checks
Link Here
Full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

   Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan

PETA, the animal rights organization that never shies away from controversy, has produced sone new ads that make light of invasive body scanners and pat downs.

The Boston Herald writes that one of these ads, a video featuring Pamela Anderson as a sexy TSA agent removing leather and fur from travelers, has been banned at Logan Airport. It doesn't sound like an appropriate ad for the airport environment, says Massport spokesman Matt Brelis.

PETA's also trying to launch a body scan-mocking ad campaign featuring still photographs. One shows a scan of a woman wearing only a bra that's emblazoned with the words Be Proud. Elsewhere, the true message of the ad is visible: Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan. The Associated Press writes that airports in Las Vegas, Charlotte, N.C. and New York City have all refused to display these ads.

Update: Hong Kong

31st December 2010. From

Pamela Anderson has made a new video promoting PETA causes with an airport security checkpoint theme. But Hong Kong Airport won't be playing the video, because it has been deemed too racy.

In the video, Anderson is a half-dressed airport security checkpoint officer who gives the yea or nay to passengers according to whether or not they're wearing fur, leather or other animal skins.

One couple does manage to pass through the security check without a glitch -- they're completely nude. Their naked tushies are shown on screen and were probably what crossed the line for JCDecaux, the ad agency responsible for what airs in Hong Kong Airport.


26th November   

Update: I'm Not a Prude...BUT...

Australian prude calls for ban on 'offensive' billboards
Link Here
Full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

Australian Labor MP Graham Perrett has called for a ban on offensive billboard advertising, saying it's time to reclaim public spaces and protect common decency.

The man once cheekily dubbed the Member for Porn after penning racy scenes in his debut novel, The Twelfth Fish, said he planned to lobby Attorney-General Robert McClelland about whether advertising laws can be tightened and would support a Parliamentary inquiry into the issue.

The Member for Moreton said the billboard, for an erectile dysfunction treatment, was on a busy road and likely to be seen by children: I've been called the 'Member for Porn', so I'm not a prude ...BUT... I find it troublesome and I think we do need to take a closer look at it .

We have lots of weeks here, we have Liver Week, Mental Health Week, I think we need to have a 'Back to Middle-Class Values Week' where we reclaim public spaces, he said. He also noted the offending billboard was close to a nondescript brothel that was less offensive to the eye than the advertisement and unlikely to upset any parents on school runs.

Perrett also suggested an advertising watershed for billboards. He said electronic advertising meant it was possible to promote adult content after 8.30pm and ensure more family friendly themes were present during school hours.


24th November   

A Provocative Whinge...

ASA dismiss clearly ludicrous complaint
Link Here

An ad in Time Out magazine for clothing brand American Apparel showed a girl wearing white underwear and over-the-knee grey socks. She was standing on her tiptoes with her feet crossed, arching her back, with her arms resting against a wall. Her head was turned to face the camera and her hair partly covered her face. The text stated Lingerie .

A complainant, who believed that the model looked like a child, objected that the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it showed a young-looking girl wearing only underwear and standing in a provocative pose.

American Apparel said that the model was over 18 years of age and it was clear that she was a woman. They made reference to her adult length legs and considered that her adult bust, although not emphasised by her shoulders-back stance, was clearly present. They did not believe the model was styled in a manner that suggested she was underage and strongly refuted that her pose was provocative. They believed that the stance adopted was a confident and professional modelling pose intended to emphasise the three products advertised. They acknowledged that the ad prominently featured underwear but disputed the complaint that the model was wearing only underwear because the socks were primarily worn as an outer garment.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the model was over the age of 18 at the time the photograph was taken. We considered that her pose was representative of the stylised postures familiar within the fashion industry and was not unduly provocative. We also considered that readers were unlikely to infer from the clothing worn that the model was a child. We concluded that the image was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to readers of Time Out magazine or be seen as socially irresponsible.


21st November   

Back to Censor School...

ASA whinge at leaflets for pub event with a school theme
Link Here

A leaflet and poster which appeared in a Yates's pub.

The leaflet and poster showed a cartoon picture of a woman. She was wearing a short plaid skirt and a shirt unbuttoned to the chest, a loosened school tie and a school badge. She held a piece of chalk in one hand and was standing next to a blackboard with BACK TO SCHOOL WEEKENDER 27th/28th/29th August written on it. A heart with an arrow through it was next to the text. Further text included I must be there! I must be there . A school-badge shaped outline next to pictures of a Smirnoff Vodka bottle and a Jagermeister bottle contained the text JAGER BOMB AND VOD BOMB £2.95 ONLY . Text at the bottom advertised the drinkaware website and stated WE ARE YATESs .

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the leaflet was irresponsible, because it was likely to encourage underage drinking; and
  2. the poster was irresponsible, because it was likely to encourage underage drinking.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA noted Yatess had said that staff were instructed to distribute leaflets only to those over 18 years of age. However, as the leaflets had been distributed in the immediate vicinity of their bars, which we understood to mean outside the actual premises, we considered it would be likely that under-18s would be able to gain access to discarded leaflets even if staff had taken care to ensure that they were only passed directly to over-18s.

We noted that the style of the leaflet was in keeping with similar illustrations of women used by Yatess for other Big Weekender promotions. However, we considered that the style of illustration would appeal to under-18s generally, and particularly in relation to the promotion as it was associated with a Back to School theme and depicted a woman wearing school uniform. We noted Yatess assertion that there was no direct physical association between the image of the woman and the drink products but considered that as the woman appeared to have written the details of the drink promotion on the blackboard that directly linked her with the drink products.

Whilst we recognised the popularity of School Disco themed nights amongst adults, we were concerned that because the Back to School Weekender was scheduled for the final weekend of August - the time at which children would be preparing to return to school after the summer holiday - the promotion would have particular relevance and appeal to under-18s and could encourage them to drink.

2. Not upheld

Because we understood that the posters had only been displayed in and around the bar areas inside Yatess premises, where service was only offered to over-18s, we considered that it was unlikely that under-18s would have seen them and they were therefore unlikely to encourage underage drinking.


20th November   

Shameless Hype...

Suit Supply advertising campaign is working wonders
Link Here

A window display at a London shopping center is drawing a few complaints ludicrously comparing it to pornography and accusing it of objectifying women.

The 8-foot window display at Suit Supply in the Westfield shopping center features images of a man sitting next to a woman while she touches her naked breast, a driving man groping a female passenger and a man lifting a reclining woman's dress to look at her underwear.

The pictures, part of the store's Shameless advertising campaign, have been the subject of complaints to Westfield managers and the Advertising Standards Authority. Complaints have also been posted on the Mumsnet Web site and Twitter.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it has received about 10 complaints, but callers were referred to watchdog group Consumer Direct as the authority only deals with paid advertising space.

Suit Supply released a statement saying the pictures are a well-balanced mix of style, humor and sex, the essence of fashion. We fully disagree that our campaign would be obscene and denigrating towards women. On the contrary, the women depicted in the photographs are obviously in the lead.


20th November   

Holiday Memories...

ASA dismisses whinges about Estrella beer advert
Link Here

A cinema ad for Estrella beer showed a man getting off a boat at an island, meeting two women and the three travelling around the island together. The three people appeared very close and the man seemed to have a romantic relationship with one of the women. In several scenes the three people drank Estrella beer together. At the end of the ad the man got back on the boat with a bottle of beer in his hand. Text on the screen next to a close up of a bottle of Estrella said, Good times never end if there's something to remind you of them . Issue

Two complainants objected that the ad appeared to link the consumption of alcohol with sexual success.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA noted that the ad was lengthy with many scenes, some of which depicted alcohol and others which did not. We noted that several of the scenes showed Estrella beer being shared and consumed and these tended to be the group scenes such as the dinner and beach parties. We considered that when alcohol was shown it did not seem to be essential to the success of any event. We noted that in several scenes, particularly the more romantic scenes, there was little or no alcohol shown.

We considered that by not featuring alcohol or its consumption in the scenes where we saw the relationship between the male character and the female character develop, the ad avoided directly linking alcohol to sexual success. We noted that there were several scenes that featured nudity but we considered these in keeping with acceptable standards and not so strong as to directly link alcohol consumption with sexual success.

We considered that viewers would interpret the message of the ad in terms of an association of the Estrella brand with a pleasant and memorable holiday atmosphere and tone. We therefore concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.


19th November   

The Heat is On...

ASA dismisses whinges at sexy Beyoncé advert but confirms time restrictions
Link Here

A TV ad for Heat perfume showed the singer Beyoncé lying naked in the middle of a room. In the next scene she was shown wearing a revealing red satin dress and walking towards the camera, touching her neck and moving her hand across her chest. She ran her left hand along a wall, leaving a trail of fire as she touched it. She was then shown leaning against a window, moving her hand down her neck and caressing her breast. She began dancing seductively, and the ad showed images of her chest, back and thighs. The ad closed with Beyoncé walking away from the camera, her footprints melting the floor. She turned and said Catch the fever . A male voice-over stated Beyoncé Heat. The first fragrance, by Beyoncé . Issue

1. Some viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive.

2. Some viewers challenged whether the ad was suitable to be broadcast when children might be watching.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that there was no explicit sexual content and that the singer Beyonce was not fully naked in the ad. Although we noted the ad was sexually suggestive and might therefore be distasteful to some, we considered that, in the context of marketing for perfume, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most viewers.

2. Upheld

We noted several complainants had told us their children had seen the ad broadcast during the middle of the day around family programmes. We also noted that Clearcast had given the ad an ex-kids scheduling restriction, meaning it could not be broadcast in or around childrens programming. Although we considered that the ad was unlikely to be harmful to adults or older children, we considered that Beyonce's body movements and the camera's prolonged focus on shots of her dress slipping away to partially expose her breasts created a sexually provocative ad that was unsuitable to be seen by young children. We considered that the ad should not have been shown before 19.30 due to the sexually provocative nature of the imagery.

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form before 19.30.


18th November   

ASA Over Rated...

ASA dismisses car advert complaints of allusion to Nazi anthem
Link Here

a. A poster for a car showed an image of the Nissan 370Z alongside the headline text DEUTSCHLAND DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER RATED . Further text stated 0-62 MPH AUDI TTS - 5.4s BMW Z4 3.0 - 5.8s PORSCHE CAYMAN - 5.8s NISSAN 370Z - 5.3s .

b. An internet ad that appeared on the and the Guardian website showed a car speeding across the screen from right to left. Text stated 0-62 mph. Audi TTS 5.4s Porsche Cayman 5.8sm . The car then sped from left to right and text stated 0-62 mph Nissan 370Z 5.3s . Further text stated Deutschland Deutschland über rated .

1. 26 complainants objected that poster (a) was offensive because the text DEUTSCHLAND DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER RATED was a play on words on a verse of the German National Anthem which was associated with the Nazis.

2. 2 complainants objected that internet ad (b) was offensive on the same grounds.

3. 8 complainants objected that the poster was offensive because it was racist towards Germans.

The ASA challenged whether:

4. the ads breached the Code by using acceleration claims as the predominant message of the ad, and

5. the moving image in internet ad (b) gave the impression of excessive speed.

ASA Assessment

1. & 2. Not upheld

The ASA noted the intention of the ads was to challenge the assumption that German sports cars outclassed other manufacturers brands and to suggest that those German cars were therefore over rated . We considered that the specific phrase Deutschland Deutschland über rated would be interpreted by most consumers as a play on words of Deutschland Deutschland über alles , a line from the German national anthem. Although we understood this phrase and the stanza from which it was taken had been adopted by the Nazis as part of their regime, we considered that in the context of a car ad, the majority of consumers would not make this association and instead would see it as a play on words and as a challenge to the generally held belief that Germany produced the best sports cars. We considered that most consumers would understand the message of the ad to be a light-hearted assertion that German cars were over rated compared to that of the advertised Nissan 370Z. Although we understood that some people would find the use of this specific phrase distasteful because of its historical subtext, we considered that the ad in its entirety would not be interpreted by most consumers as a direct or implied reference to Nazi Germany. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

3. Not upheld

We noted the ad included references to the German manufactured Audi TT, Porsche Cayman and BMW Z4 and considered that, in the context of a comparison with the Nissan 370Z, most consumers would interpret the phrase Deutschland, Deutschland über rated as a challenge to the belief that Germany produced the best sports cars. Although we understood that some consumers, especially Germans living in the UK, were concerned that the phrase could encourage xenophobic attitudes towards Germans, we considered that most consumers would not interpret the phrase Deutschland, Deutschland über rated as a claim that Germany, as a nation, was over rated. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to be interpreted by most consumers as racist.

4. Upheld

We noted both ads contained the headline DEUTSCHLAND DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER RATED and considered most consumers would understand this as a claim that German cars were over rated and that the Nissan 370Z could out-perform the cars specifically detailed in the ad for comparison. We noted this performance claim was illustrated by comparing the acceleration times (from 0-62mph) of the German AUDI TTS , BMW Z4 and PORSCHE CAYMAN against the Nissan 370Z. Because we considered that the main message of the ad was that the Nissan had faster acceleration, and that the German cars were therefore over rated, we concluded that that the acceleration claim was the predominant message and that the ad was in breach of the Code.

5. Upheld

We noted the ad showed a car moving from one side of the screen to the other and that it appeared to be slightly blurred, leaving a trail of red light lingering behind it and considered that the lingering trail of red light implied that the car had been moving quickly. We also noted each time the car moved from one side of the screen to the other, it was immediately followed by on-screen text which stated the acceleration times of the Audi TTS, Porsche Cayman and finally the Nissan 370Z. Although we acknowledged that the background of the ad was stylized and was not set on a public road, we considered that the image of cars moving from one side of the screen to the other, in conjunction with the acceleration speeds, would be interpreted by most consumers as a depiction of those cars reaching 62mph within a very short space of time. We therefore considered that the moving images in the ad gave an impression of excessive speed and concluded that the ad breached the Code.


13th November   

Hard Decision...

ASA dismisses whinges about advert with cold water and erect nipples
Link Here

A television ad, for Isklar Pure Glacier bottled mineral water, showed a woman from the waist up to her neck, dressed in a white T-shirt, holding a bottle of water. She then opened the bottle and her nipples became erect and visible through her T-shirt. She looked down at her nipples and on-screen text stated pure glacier .

A viewer objected that the ad was offensive because they believed it objectified women.

Clearcast had cleared the ad for TV arguing that the ad was a humorous and brief depiction of how the body reacts to cold temperatures. They argued that a physiological response, not a sexual one, had been shown. They said there was no nudity in the ad and the woman appeared to be in on the joke as she looked at her nipples and smiled. They added that nobody was seen leering at the woman or behaving inappropriately towards her. They explained that they had given the ad a post-9pm restriction because it showed erect nipples.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA noted that the ad showed a natural response to being cold and that no nudity was shown. We considered that the context was clear and the connection between drinking the water and the erect nipples was likely to be understood by viewers. Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might find the depiction of erect nipples distasteful, given the context of the ad, we considered that it was unlikely to be seen as degrading or objectifying women.

We noted Clearcast had applied a post-9pm scheduling restriction and that the ad had been carefully scheduled around a specific television programme. We considered that the post-9pm scheduling restriction was sufficient for the content of the ad, and concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 6.1 (Offence) but did not find it in breach.


12th November   

A Lesson in Easy Offence...

Advert censor gets all offended by spearmint Rhino Back 2 School Party
Link Here

A digital outdoor poster for a lapdancing club, stated SPEARMINT RHINO GENTLEMEN'S CLUB LONDON. Back 2 School Party. Come see our Sexy Schoolgirl Staff & Entertainers . The ad showed a woman dressed in a grey V-neck jumper, school tie and a white shirt.

Three complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and offensive because it sexualised teenage girls and linked them with sexually provocative behaviour.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted Spearmint Rhino believed the ad was acceptable. However, we considered that the image of a woman dressed in school uniform together with the claims come see our sexy schoolgirl staff and entertainers and back to school party appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad breached rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Offence).


10th November   

Update: Teasing ASA...

ASA get in on the Bang Babes rant
Link Here
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

A TV ad, for a premium rate telephone service, featured mock documentary footage titled The Bare Tits Project , in a parody of the film, the Blair Witch Project . On-screen text stated In 2009 4 students went out to make a naughty documentary in Epping Forest ... They never returned but the footage was found a year later ... .

The ad showed three women, who were frequently topless, in a woodland setting. Text on-screen throughout the ad stated TXT HOT TO 69912 £1.50 per text and CALL NOW! 0982 923 XXXX . The women invited viewers to get in touch ... if you want to talk to some really naughty girls, call the number on the screen now .

1. A viewer, who saw the ad at 6.40am on Tease Me 2, challenged whether the nudity in the ad was offensive, particularly given the time of day at which it was broadcast.

2. The ASA challenged whether the premium rate service was of a sexually explicit nature and therefore whether it should have been broadcast only on an encrypted element of an adult entertainment channel.


1. Tease Me 2 said the ad was broadcast unintentionally due to an operator error and was not scheduled to air outside of the watershed. They accepted that nudity outside of the watershed could sometimes cause offence to some viewers but nevertheless pointed out that the ad was broadcast on a clearly signposted adult entertainment channel in the Adult Section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). Tease Me 2 therefore disagreed that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence or that the depiction of nudity contravened any generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.

2. Tease Me 2 said the ad was a 15-minute teleshopping broadcast which was clearly distinguishable from editorial content and bore a banner stating that it was a commercial presentation. Their in-house compliance team passed the promotion for broadcast on the understanding that the rules for the promotion of premium rate services (PRS) had changed after the Third Consultation on Participation Television. They said the ad was discontinued after it became clear that the changes to the rules, although announced by Ofcom, did not come into effect until September 2010 and had not been broadcast since.

Assessment: 1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad had been broadcast, in May 2010, before the watershed in error and that it appeared in the Adult Section of the EPG. We considered that the imagery and premium rate contact number suggested that the service promoted was of a sexual nature. We considered that some viewers were likely to be offended by it but that the offence was unlikely to be serious or widespread if appropriately scheduled. We nevertheless noted the viewer had seen the ad in the morning and furthermore, the channel was unencrypted. For those reasons, we considered that the content of the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and, because it was a premium rate text service of a sexual nature, should have been restricted to encrypted elements of adult entertainment channels.

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form, unless it is shown on encrypted elements of adult entertainment channels.


6th November   

Update: Guiding Nutters...

Girlguiding UK petitions for labelling of photoshopped adverts
Link Here
Full story: Photoshopped Models...Campaigners to ban photoshopped adverts

25,000 people have signed a petition calling for David Cameron to act against computer-enhanced pictures in adverts and magazines which supposedly lead to distorted ideas about beauty.

Girlguiding UK has delivered the petition to Downing Street calling for the Government to introduce compulsory labelling for all airbrushed images.

Gemma Hallatt, an 18-year-old guide, said: We are pleased that so many people have supported our petition calling for a kitemark to distinguish between airbrushed and natural images. We each know from our own experience that the airbrushed images that you see in magazines and on advertising boards can really affect the self confidence of girls and young women.

Most of us have no idea how significantly these pictures are altered and are shocked when they realise that the images they have of celebrities and models are not a reality.

Hallatt also said that the guides will continue their campaign to ensure that all airbrushed images are clearly marked.


3rd November   

The Last Censorism...

ASA whinge at posters for the Last Exorcism
Link Here

Two posters and one magazine advert for the horror film The Last Exorcism:

a. One poster that appeared on a bus stop and telephone box showed a young girl bending backwards, doubled over, her dress covered in blood. Above the girl was a crucifix and the text stated BELIEVE IN HIM . Below the image the text stated THE LAST EXORCISM IN CINEMAS SEPTEMBER 3 .

b. A poster on the side of a bus showed the same girl up in the top corner of a room. The text stated THE LAST EXORCISM IN CINEMAS SEPTEMBER 3 .

c. An ad, in Cineworld's Unlimited cinema magazine, was the same as poster ad (a).

1. Most complainants, who found the images graphic and disturbing, challenged whether the ads were offensive, distressing and unsuitable for public display.

2. Some complainants challenged whether the ads were likely to cause fear and distress to children, especially because some posters were placed near schools and ad (c) appeared in a free magazine that could be picked up by children.

3. Two complainants found ad (a) offensive and upsetting because they believed it showed the girl as having suffered a sexual assault.

ASA Assessment

1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA noted the ads were designed to promote a mainstream horror film, but considered that the image in ad (a), which showed a young girl with her dress covered in blood, was likely to cause offence and distress when displayed in an untargeted medium such as a poster. We also considered that the image of a young girl with her dress covered in blood was unsuitable to be seen by children. We considered, however, that the same image in Unlimited magazine, which was a specialist magazine available in Cineworld cinemas, was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or distress in that context. We also considered that because young children visiting the cinema were likely to be accompanied by an adult, they were unlikely to see and be distressed by the ad in that context. We noted a small proportion of the complainants found ad (b) disturbing, but considered that the image in that ad was likely to be experienced as strange rather than frightening or horrific, and was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or distress to adults or children.

3. Not upheld

We considered that the contortions of the girl in ad (a) were explained by the title of the film and the image of a crucifix, and were therefore unlikely to be widely interpreted as a result of a sexual assault.


27th October   

Update: Salivating Advert Censors...

ASA take easy offence at another ice cream advert
Link Here

A magazine ad, for Antonio Federici ice cream, appeared in Look magazine. It showed two priests in full robes who looked as though they were about to kiss. One of the men also wore rosary beads and held a spoon in his hand; the other held a tub of ice cream. The ad included text that stated We Believe in Salivation .

Six complainants objected that the ad was offensive, because they believed it mocked Catholicism.

Antonio Federici said their advertising did not mock Catholicism but reflected the grave troubles they considered affected the Catholic Church. They gave examples of issues that had been reported in the press, which they believed many people would find more offensive than an ad that celebrated homosexuality.

They said the issue of gay and lesbian bishops and priests was one that currently divided the Church of England and was likely to continue to do so. Antonio Federici said the ad contrasted the actions of the Catholic Church with their belief that if ice cream were a religion, it would be one of universal love, regardless of race, colour, creed or gender.  They said they were Catholics but would continue to produce advertising that challenged the Catholic Church while they believed it remained troubled.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted the CAP Code stated that ads should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability .

We noted the ad used the text We Believe in Salivation as a theme to refer to the taste of the product and to the image of the priests, who were portrayed in a seductive pose as if they were about to kiss passionately. We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.


23rd October   

Screams of Censorial Pleasure...

Ann Summers halloween outfits advert blocked
Link Here

A halloween radio advert for the lingerie retailer Ann Summers has been banned for being likely to offend listeners according to the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC)

The broadcaster's adviser said that it contained fairly overt sexual references in terms of sound effects .

The commercial begins with the sound of screams, which are replaced by screams of pleasure. A voice can then be heard to say: Tight, short, low-cut. Ann Summers dead sexy Hallowe'en outfits with 5 off. In stores, online and at parties.

A spokesman for the RACC said the ad breached advertising regulations governing taste and offence.

Ann Summers has appealed appealed the decision. We believe that Britons are broad-minded and would understand the topical and cheeky nature of our advert, said a spokesman for the company.


23rd October   

Censor's Plaything...

Calvin Klein offends the Australian advert censor
Link Here

A Calvin Klein jeans ad campaign is being pulled down from billboards after Australia's advert censor found it was suggestive of rape and violence.

The Advertising Standards Bureau revealed that it has upheld complaints about the campaign, which includes a part-naked woman being straddled by a man while another pulls her hair.

The latest campaign has appeared on billboards in Sydney and Melbourne and generated up to 50 complaints.

The case report said the depiction of the woman with three men was highly sexualised and clearly suggestive of sexual behaviour . The Board considered that whilst the act depicted could be consensual, the overall impact and most likely takeout is that the scene is suggestive of violence and rape. The Board considered that the image was demeaning to women by suggesting that she is a plaything of these men. It also demeans men by implying sexualised violence against women.

Clinical psychologist Alison Grundy, who works with sex abuse victims, said advertisers were reaching a dangerous new low by using sexual violence as a marketing tool: If we continue to subject future generations of young men to great barrages of aggressive, misogynist, over-sexualised and violent imagery in pornography, movies, computer games and advertising, we will continue to see the rates of sexual violence against women and children that continue unabated today. Or worse .


21st October   

Scary Mary...

Whingers wound up by naughty schoolgirl in Hovis advert
Link Here

Two versions of a TV ad promoted Hovis Hearty Oats bread.

Ad (a) was 30 seconds long, set in the 1970s and featured a series of short scenes showing the same teenage girl riding a bicycle along a school corridor, kicking a football, hitting a school boy who called her scary Mary over the head with a notebook, making a prank phone call, throwing flour in a cookery class, pushing a teacher into a swimming pool and holding a piece of bread above a dog as it jumped up and down to try and reach it. The slices of bread were placed in a toaster. The voice-over stated There comes a time when it's good to be good and the shot cut to a woman taking the toast out of the toaster in a contemporary kitchen.

Ad (b) was 60 seconds long and featured additional scenes where a space hopper was dropped from a high-rise block of flats, Mary was pushed down the street in a shopping trolley, Mary pushed a friend in a ballet class, swung on a washing line and chased a pig along a school corridor.

Four people complained.

1. All four viewers challenged whether the ads were irresponsible and condoned anti-social behaviour and bullying.

2. One of the viewers challenged whether the scene with the dog was cruel and could encourage harmful emulation.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted the ads were designed to contrast the girls boisterous and mischievous behaviour with the sensible choice she made as an adult to eat Hearty Oats bread. Although we noted some of the girls actions were mischievous and naughty, they were not without consequence, and she was reprimanded in several scenes. We agreed with Clearcast that most viewers would see those actions as the playful and boisterous behaviour of a spirited young girl, particularly because the style and treatment of the ads portrayed a nostalgic reminiscence for a time when children were given greater freedom. Because of that, and because the timing restrictions meant ad (a) would not be seen by very young children, and the scenes in ad (b) featuring the girl spinning on the washing line and riding in the shopping trolley would be shown only after 9pm, we concluded the ads were not irresponsible and did not breach of the Code.

2. Not upheld

We noted the scene with the dog featured in both ads, and had been given an ex-kids timing restriction so that it was not broadcast in and around childrens programming and therefore would not be seen by young children. Although we noted the dog was briefly teased by the young girl, the animal was not in distress, a vet was on set when the ad was shot and the ex-kids timing restriction meant the ad would not be seen by very young children. We therefore concluded the brief scene with the dog was not cruel and did not encourage harmful emulation.


20th October   

Lick Your Viva...

ASA lick the VIVA advert more than a few whingers do
Link Here

Two TV ads, for the VIVA TV channel, included characters who spoke with South African accents; the characters pronounced like as lick . One character stated We lick Viva eh. I lick it a lot, I can't get enough. I'm licking it twenty four seven . Both ads showed the names of TV shows on the characters clothes and body parts. The ads ended with four people spelling out VIVA with their bodies; two lay on their backs with their legs raised and apart to form Vs. A voice-over, with an English accent, stated lick your Viva .

(a) the first ad showed the names of TV shows, and the word VIVA on the front of a t-shirt, shaved into one of the character's hair and on a male's torso;

(b) the second ad also showed the names of TV shows on a female's breast, which she pulled her top down to partly expose, and on another female's lower back.

Ad (a) was cleared by Clearcast with no timing restriction; ad (b) was cleared with an ex-kids restriction, which meant it should not be shown in or around programmes made for, or specifically targeted at, children. Issue

1. Two viewers challenged whether the ads were likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed the end scene was sexually suggestive.

2. Of those two viewers, one also challenged whether ad (a) was suitable to be shown when children might be watching.

3. Another viewer challenged whether ad (b) was suitable to be shown when children might be watching, because the female characters partly exposed their bodies.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged the ads might be distasteful to some. We noted the images of the two women in ad (b) could be interpreted as being mildly suggestive but the end scene in both ads was clearly intended to show the characters spelling out the word Viva in a light hearted way; it was not explicit or overtly sexual. We concluded that the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. & 3. Not upheld

We noted ad (b) was cleared with an ex-kids timing restriction by Clearcast; ad (a) did not have a timing restriction. We noted the images of the two women in ad (b) could be interpreted as being mildly suggestive. Although one of the women moved her top slightly however, neither of the characters exposed herself and the scenes were not explicit or overtly sexual. We noted the ad was clearly light hearted and considered the restriction was sufficient to ensure ad (b) was unlikely to be seen by children watching television alone. We also noted ad (a) did not include the mildly suggestive scenes; we therefore considered it was unlikely to be unsuitable for children. We therefore concluded that the ads did not breach the TV scheduling rules.


11th October   

Update: Strawberry Nutters...

New Zealand nutters horrified by banana flashing advert
Link Here
Full story: Family First...New Zealand TV nutters

The NZ Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that a Habitual Fix restaurant advertisement (for their fruit drinks), which features a female cartoon pear and strawberry running away in fear from a male cartoon banana who is indecently exposing himself to them, does not breach any advertising standards.

The advertisement featured on a prominent billboard in central Auckland.

According to the ASA this isn't a sexualized image (even though the word fetish is used in the actual advert), in fact they say that the image is actually just hyperbolic .

Morally Bankrupt

Based on article from

Nutter group Family First NZ is labeling the Advertising Standards Authority as nave and morally bankrupt after it rejected complaints against a sexual advertisement using cartoon-imaged fruit. Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ said:

Advertisers now have a green light to use sexualized and offensive messages in the form of cartoons using fruit and vegetables. Families don't need much imagination to realize how far that can be taken and how dangerous it is.

The ASA naively argued that children would not see the image as sexualized, and that the image was 'hyperbolic' - all this despite the acknowledgement by the Board of a 'phallic banana in a flashing pose', and the use of the word 'fetish'.

Yet again, the ASA has shown hostility towards the wellbeing and protection of families, and seems to act as a 'mates club' to advertisers who are committed to pushing the boundaries without any consequences of note.

Family First is calling for the Board of the ASA to be changed, for the pre-vetting of advertisements, and for there to be more representatives of family, children, and community groups.


9th October   

Update: NoLastRight...

Another pro-euthanasia TV advert banned in Australia
Link Here
Full story: Euthanasia...Euthenasia campaigns wind up the censors

Commercials Advice (CAD), the watchdog set up by Free TV Australia to classify and approve television commercials, has banned another pro-euthanasia commercial for promoting suicide.

According to, the group behind the ad, CAD banned the spot for failing to comply with regulation 2.17 of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. Section 2.17.5 of the code stipulates that realistic depiction of methods of suicide, or promotion or encouragement of suicide is unsuitable for broadcast .

Neil Francis, chairman and CEO of the campaign, told Crikey the ad was rejected despite receiving preliminary commercial approval from CAD.

The only thing that they [CAD] advised us of the airing time that it should not be on during children's programs and of course we would have no interest in airing during those periods, Francis told Crikey.

The 30-second commercial, which was due to air this Sunday on the major commercial networks, has instead been uploaded to YouTube in the hope it goes viral.

From brings together all Australian dying-with-dignity and voluntary euthanasia societies to deliver choice and dignity to Australians.

We won't force our opinion on anyone but nor do we want to have our rights limited by others' beliefs any longer. For decades most Australians have believed that medically assisted dying should be a fundamental right. Today, 85% of Australians* agree but the timidity of politicians means that legislation still lags behind the will of the people. No longer.

Millions of Americans, Belgians, Dutch and Swiss now have this right to choose to end their lives in a controlled, peaceful, dignified way why not us?


6th October   

Nutter Spat...

Sony TV advert cleared of offense and encouraging spitting
Link Here

A Sony TV ad featured two teams of children playing football in a large stadium packed with spectators. One child tackled another, the referee held up a yellow card. A shot on goal was saved and a boy turned away and spat. A goal was scored and the children celebrated. The shot cut to the same children playing in a park. On-screen text stated Imagine reliving the greatest games ... Sony Internet TV .

Fifty-six viewers complained:

  1. Most viewers believed the shot of the child spitting was offensive.
  2. Some viewers challenged whether the ad risked causing harmful emulation of antisocial behaviour because it glamorised the act of spitting.

Clearcast said they were surprised by the number of complaints received. However, they said context was everything and the story was about dreams; young boys dreaming of being footballers. To tell the story they sought to behave like their heroes. They said that the tiny sequence of spitting was what many footballers on telly did and had done for a very long time and the ad merely sought to reflect reality.

Clearcast said they did not agree for one moment that the brief portrayal of a well-worn habit could be proven to cause harmful emulation, particularly because the ad was shown between world cup matches where players were likely to be shown spitting.

ASA Assessment:

1. Not upheld

Although distasteful to some, because the scene featuring the child spitting was very brief, and because it appeared in the context of an ad that showed children emulating professional footballers who spit to clear their throats after intense physical exertion, we considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. We therefore concluded the ad was not in breach of the Code.

2. Not upheld

Because the shot of the boy spitting was very brief and was shown in the context of a scenario that was clearly fantastical, as emphasised by the final scene of the boys playing in a yard, we considered it did not glamorise the act of spitting and did not encourage harmful emulation. We therefore concluded the ad was not in breach of the Code.


3rd October   

An Easy Ride to Easy Offence...

Radio advert for secondhand bikes cleared of offensive innuendo
Link Here

A radio ad promoted used motor bikes. The female voice-over stated you may not be the first guy to ride me, you may not be the last, but you'll still love me. What can I say, I'm a bike. But I'll be your bike. And I'll take you places you've never been before. Come on, let's go for a ride. A male voice-over stated MCS Scotland will set you up with the perfect used bike for you, like a Suzuki SU 650 S ... The female voice-over continued MCS Scotland ... the place to go, for an easy ride .

One listener challenged whether the ad was sexist and demeaning to women.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA noted the RACC's comments that the ad was intended to be light-hearted and humorous. Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might find the innuendo in poor taste, we considered most listeners would understand that the female voice-over referred to the Suzuki motorbike named in the ad, rather than being a general comment that demeaned women. Notwithstanding the fact that some listeners might find the innuendo in poor taste, we did not consider the ad sexist or demeaning to women and concluded it was not in breach of the Code.


2nd October   


Anti-alcohol nutters have fun with Skyy vodka advert
Link Here

Sex in advertising is one thing. But sex with a vodka bottle may be quite another.

Edgy vodka maker Skyy Spirits has unleashed a print and billboard ad campaign that's winding up the nutters.

It shows a woman's legs, clad in red tights and heels, wrapped around a Skyy vodka bottle.

One anti-alcohol nutter group claims it violates the distilled spirits industry's own code of advertising ethics and needs to be yanked.

This is just ridiculous, it's porn-a-hol, says Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director at the Marin Institute. Underage kids will look at this and associate sexual prowess with drinking Skyy.

Livingston says the sexual lewdness in the ad shows the industry can't regulate itself. The FTC ( Federal Trade Commission ) should be all over this.

Another whinger added: It's just jamming a bottle in a woman's crotch, says branding 'expert' Steven Addis. A great ad uses heart or mind. This one's starting below the waist.

Shot by fashion photographer Raymond Meier, who's done ads for Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton and Armani, the ad is in October issues of Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, InStyle and Maxim. It will appear on billboards in New York, Chicago, Dallas and Miami.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. self regulatory ad code says: Beverage alcohol advertising and marketing materials should not rely upon sexual prowess or sexual success as a selling point for the brand.

Mary Engle, the FTC's associate director for advertising practices, says, We don't have specific guidelines on alcohol marketing. We encourage companies to comply with self regulatory codes of conduct.


2nd October   

Eye Catching...

Sex sells rickshaw advert cleared by the ASA
Link Here

A poster displayed on the side of a rickshaw featured a photograph of a woman wearing a vest-style T-shirt pulled down to reveal her cleavage. Lipstick printed kisses were stamped across the image. Text stated SEX SELLS almost as much as our websites ... Eye Catching Web Design by PLUG + PLAY .

The complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive, demeaning to women and unsuitable for general display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

Although distasteful to some, we considered most people who saw the ad would understand it primarily as an ironic take on the idea that sex sells, particularly because the text stated SEX SELLS ... almost as much as our website . Moreover, we did not consider the pose of the model explicit. We therefore concluded the ad was suitable for public display and not in breach of the Code.

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