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2015: April-June

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Come again!...

An advert censor actually sees the funny side of a Ted 2 poster with an allusion to wanking

Link Here28th June 2015
Full story: Advert Censorship in Australia...Advertising Standards Board
The Australian Advertising Standards Board investigated a complaint about a poster for Ted 2.

This poster advertisement features an image of Ted, an animated teddy bear. He has his back to the camera and the text reads, ted is coming, again. coming soon. .

A complainant wrote:

In the poster we see Ted's back with both hands in front of him, out of view. Ted is in a pose that you might think he is urinating. The tagline for the poster says Ted is coming, again. I'm not offended by crass jokes, though I don't find this funny or not funny. I find the poster very inappropriate for a public space where children, young teenagers and older people walk past. Most people won't make the connection to masturbating and ejaculation, but I did and I found it inappropriate. Some fans of the Ted movie obviously will also make the connection and not be offended, but what about young kids, women, teenage girls? I do not think this sort of advertising should be allowed in a public space.

The Board noted that the image is directly related to the movie and that relevance of the image to the product or service advertised is relevant in determining whether the advertisement treats sex, sexuality or nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience.

The Board noted that it had previously considered an advertisement of a similar nature where Ted was seen urinating at a urinal. In that case the Board considered that most members of the community would find the advertisement to be lighthearted and would recognise that the image is directly related to the movie being promoted.

Consistent with the decision above the Board considered that members of the community who would likely watch the movie would be aware of the comical nature of the movie and the way the character Ted misbehaves. The Board noted that the movie is directed to an adult audience, however the Board agreed that the image of a bear would be attractive to children. The Board noted that the Bear is not actually doing anything wrong and noted that there is no nudity and no evidence of any inappropriate behaviour.

Based on the above, the Board determined that the advertisement did not breach Section 2.4 of the Code.



Offsite Article: The ASA: Torquemada meets No More Page 3...

Link Here6th June 2015
The Advertising Standards Authority has become a censorious tyrant. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from



Massively Inappropriate...

Australian advert censors offended by sex shop advert featuring model with an ample bosom

Link Here18th May 2015
Australian advert censors of the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) have deemed a sex shop advert to be inappropriate.

The company behind a sex shop billboard which showed two women in lingerie leaning against each other has responded to the ad's ban, saying it is a family business which strives to drive the mobile ad in areas with few children.

Club Shoop's mobile ad was rejected by the ASB as inappropriate, after a complainant said they had seen them on a truck several times during the school holidays... the truck is driven along busy roads and stopping along the roads near shopping centres .

The ASB said the image was not exploitative, but wasn't acceptable for the areas it was shown. Its ruling noted:

The Board noted that the woman with the open shirt has very large breasts and that there is a significant amount of cleavage shown to the point of nearly exposing her whole breast.

The overall tone of the advertisement and specifically some of the features such as the level of exposed breast, the strap of a bra slipping down and the wide spread legs of one of the models and considered that this did amount to an image that was very sexualised and that the display of such an image on an outdoor mobile billboard did not treat the issue of sex and sexuality with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience.



Fun Fare...

Cardiff bus company N.A.T. gets international publicity for adverts that offend the hashtag harpies

Link Here11th May 2015
Cardiff bus company, New Adventure Travel Limited (NAT Group), got a little more publicity than expected for a series of adverts on the back of their buses.

The adverts featured men and woman, implicitly shirtless behind signs reading: Ride me all day for 3

Charlotte Church, the singer, is among those who lambasted the company for the supposedly: abhorrent and hugely offensive advert. Church was among those who whinged on Twitter after the company posted pictures of the adverts on the social network.

A few did see the funny side and even congratulated the company on drawing attention to themselves.

The company issued a statement:

In view of the reaction to our bus advertising today we wish to set out our position:

Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation. We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily tickets.

The slogan of 'ride me all day for 3' whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women.

Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next 24 hours.



Which party will rid us of this PC extremism?...

Advert censor whinges at 22 year old model, neither dressed nor posed sexily, and ludicrously claims that this is sexualisation of children

Link Here6th May 2015

A double-page magazine ad, seen in Vogue, promoted the designer brand Miu Miu. It featured a photograph which appeared to have been shot through a slightly open doorway to reveal a young woman, wearing Miu Miu products, reclining on a bed while looking straight at the camera, in an otherwise sparse room.

The complainant, who felt that the image appeared to show a child dressed as an adult in a sexually suggestive pose, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and offensive.

Prada SpA said the ad was part of a campaign featuring three different models in a series of cinematic tableaux. They said the images showed glimpses of the models through doorways and placed the viewer at the heart of a multidimensional, multi-room story. The ad featured Mia Goth, a 22-year-old actress and model. She was shown on crisp white bed sheets, wearing a sophisticated outfit, without a low neck-line, and nude make up. They did not believe she was shown in a sexually suggestive pose or that there was a sexual tone to the ad or her expression.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted that the model had a youthful appearance, was wearing very minimal make up and clothes that appeared to be slightly too large. We considered those elements contributed to the impression that she was younger than 16 years of age. She was posed reclining on a bed, looking up directly to the camera through a partially opened door, which gave her an air of vulnerability and the image a voyeuristic feel. We considered that the crumpled sheets and her partially opened mouth also enhanced the impression that her pose was sexually suggestive. We considered that her youthful appearance, in conjunction with the setting and pose, could give the impression that the ad presented a child in a sexualised way. Therefore, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Prada SpA to ensure future ads did not include images that inappropriately sexualised young women or were likely to cause serious offence.



Icy Reception...

Trivial 'outrage' of pre-watershed bar advert in the animation style of Frozen

Link Here3rd May 2015
Seven parents have claimed 'outrage' after a Disney-esque Frozen spoof aired during children's television and featured a woman wearing a bra.

The ad by Triumph shows an animated version of 23-year-old model Hannah Ferguson trying to find the ideal bra over a catchy musical number. When the advert aired on Cartoon Network channel before the 9pm watershed, Advert censors of ASA received complaints.

The advert finishes off with a scene of the real Hannah checking out how she looks in her new bra in a mirror. You can even, shock horror, see the outline of her breasts.

One upset parent branded the advert obviously inappropriate according to The Mirror whilst another went further and claimed it to be offensive .



Updated: Are You Beach Body Ready?...

Advert for dietary supplements winds up the beach body unready

Link Here3rd May 2015
Posters asking commuters if they are beach body ready are under investigation after a few people whinged to the advert censors ASA after seeing the posters on London's Tube network.

Alongside a picture of a woman in a bikini, the adverts for dietary company Protein World ask: Are you beach body ready? in capital letters.

A few hundred people signed an online petition calling for the posters to be banned. The petition whinged:

Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.

A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed on Monday that it had received 33 complaints about the campaign. The spokeswoman said typical complaints have included claims the advert is offensive , harmful and that the posters promote the idea that only one type of body is fit for the beach .

Protein World said in a statement that it would not remove the adverts from the Underground network, adding:

It is a shame that in 2015 there are still a minority who aren't focusing on celebrating those who aspire to be healthier, fitter and stronger.

Update: The beach body unready are massing in Hyde Park

28th April 2015. See  article from  

Thousands of beach body unready people have signed an online petition for the posters, for Protein World weight-loss products, to be banned from London Underground stations. Others have organised a taking back the beach protest, set for London's Hyde Park on Saturday .

The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 216 complaints with the general nature being that the ad is offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image .

The Facebook page for Saturday's demonstration at 3pm reads: Are you a size 24? Come on down, beautiful!!

The online petition reads:

Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product. Perhaps not everyone's priority is having a 'beach body'.

Update: Transport for London takes down Protein World posters

29th April 2015. See  article from

A controversial ad campaign featuring a bikini-wearing model that asks Are you beach body ready? is to be removed from London Underground ahead of a planned mass protest this weekend.

Transport for London said the ads promoting Protein World weight-loss product will be replaced from Wednesday because they have come to the end of their three-week contract period. It is coming to a natural end, a spokesman said, adding that the campaign did not contravene TFL's advertising standards.

More than 200 people have complained about the ads to the ASA. The advert censor is meeting Protein World on Wednesday to discuss its advertising policy.

A taking back the beach protest has been organised to take place in London's Hyde Park on Saturday. More than 400 people are expected to attend. By midday on Tuesday more than 50,000 people had signed an online petition calling on Protein World to take down the ads.

Update: Heavyweight censors weigh in

30th April 2015. See  article from

Britain's PC censors of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have weighed in and banned the Protein World's Beach Body Ready adverts.

The advert censors announced that the posters are immediately banned on grounds of 'concerns' about weight loss claims, and that the ASA has launched a follow up investigation to consider the political correctness issues. The ASA said:

We've met with Protein World to discuss its Are you beach body ready? ad campaign.

It's coming down in the next three days and, due to our concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims made in the ad, it can't appear again in its current form.

Although the ad won't appear in the meantime, we've launched an investigation to establish if it breaks harm and offence rules or is socially irresponsible.

We will now carefully and objectively explore the complaints that have prompted concerns around body confidence and promptly publish our findings.

Meanwhile the petition calling for the ads to be removed has now reached about 60,000 signatures.

Offsite Report: The Beach Body Unready in Hyde Park

3rd May 2015. See  article from



Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

Taco Bell

Link Here23rd April 2015
Full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy

Christian morality campaigners have whinged about a Taco Bell TV advert:

Taco Bell is following a trend in crude commercials. While a few fast food restaurants are cleaning up their ads, Taco Bell decided to air a new ad named Flash to advertise Chickstars.

The ad shows an elderly couple eating Chickstars in their car when the woman lifts up her shirt, implying she is showing her bare chest to the man. Showing a female flashing a man during a television commercial is completely inappropriate. This act has nothing to do with the food product.

Even if the couple is supposed to be married, this ad is in poor taste. It would be something children would duplicate. Everyone knows children repeat what they see. This disgusting advertisement is airing during primetime when children are likely watching



Commented: No Shit!...

Advert censor whinges at lack of age restrictions for 'shit your bed' advert

Link Here12th April 2015

A TV ad for Bedworld featured both sales persons and customers talking about beds and mattresses which were available with free shipping. The ad opened with a family's conversation with a salesman, Ship this bed. Ship this bed? You can ship the bed right here at . The ad cut to two young children who asked, Dad, can we ship this bed? Another salesman said I've just shipped this mattress. An older couple said, We've just shipped this bed ... and it felt great. A further salesman said, I ship thousands of beds and mattresses all over the UK. Visit now and ship your bed for free. Issue

The ASA received 10 complaints.

  1. Ten complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive because they believed the word ship had been substituted in place of a swear word.

  2. Five complainants challenged whether the ad had been scheduled inappropriately at times when children may be watching television.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA considered Bedworld had used word play to draw attention to their offer of free shipping; an offer which we considered was evident from the signage in the showroom and the on-screen text at the end of the ad. We acknowledged that what had been said sounded similar to the expletive shit ; however the actors were, in fact, saying ship/ped . In the context of the ad, we considered that viewers who might have been offended by bad language were likely to recognise the pun being used and therefore were likely to understand what the actors were saying. For those reasons, we concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Upheld

Five complainants were concerned the ad had been scheduled inappropriately and had been shown at times when children may have been watching. Clearcast cleared the ad without any scheduling restrictions which meant the ad could be shown at any time during the day, including during and around programmes targeted towards or of appeal to children. We understood from the complainants that they saw the ad, before, during and after Coronation Street, during This Morning and shortly before the national news at 6 pm. Based on the complainants' information, we considered the ad had appeared during programmes unlikely to appeal to or be targeted towards children.

As mentioned above, we acknowledged that, while the expletive had not been used, the two words did sound similar; we considered that younger viewers were unlikely to register the distinction between the two when spoken in the ad. We considered that shit was likely to be a word that parents may want their children to avoid, that children may already recognise as bad language and that was unsuitable for them. For those reasons, we considered a scheduling restriction should have been applied and because that was not the case, we concluded the scheduling of the ad breached the Code.

The ad must not be broadcast again without a scheduling restriction.

Comment: ASA talking shit

Thanks to Alan

Do the ASA actually understand the English language?

They refer to shit as an expletive. Only problem is that it usually isn't. Shit is only an expletive when used as such - Oh shit! If I say that I am going for a shit, or that after overdosing on laxative I shit the bed, I'm not using an expletive, but using shit as noun and verb in the literal meaning that it has had for centuries. Likewise, piss and fuck are not expletives if used in their literal sense, referring to having sexual intercourse or urination.

A bonkers decision based on crass ignorance of first-year undergraduate linguistics!



Stereotypically PC...

Rome adopts a policy of not allowing its advertising space to be used for adverts that offends against political correctness

Link Here5th April 2015

A new politically correct censorship policy affecting advertising in the city of Rome will soon come into effect. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said advertising space would be prohibited to those:

Who use women's bodies or launch sexist messages. City advertising space will be able to be sold only to those who respect the rules in the new regulatory plan and so a woman's body can't be associated with images that objectify it or portray it in a sexist way.

Marino said. Marino reviewed the city's advertising code with respect to the Friendly Images Award , promoted by the Women's Union in Italy (UDI) and the Office of Information of the European Parliament in Italy, aimed at promoting communication that goes beyond stereotypes .

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