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2010: July-Sept

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30th September   

Updated: Dignity Banned...

Australia bans TV euthanasia advert
Link Here

Australia has outlawed a television advertisement in favour of euthanasia - the first in many years to challenge a legal ban on the practice.

In the advert, a gaunt-looking actor speaks of intolerable suffering and urges the government to listen to those who wanted to die with dignity.

The group behind the campaign, Exit International, told the BBC it would fight for its reinstatement.

In the banned advertisement, an actor plays a man reflecting on his life and of being struck down by a terminal illness, while pleading to be allowed to die with dignity:

I chose to marry Tina, have two great kids. I chose to always drive a Ford. What I didn't choose was being terminally ill. I didn't choose to starve to death because eating is like swallowing razor blades. And I certainly didn't choose to have to watch my family go through it with me. I've made my final choice. I just need the government to listen.

Permission for the advert to be broadcast has been withdrawn by censors on the grounds that it promotes suicide.

Dr Philip Nitschke, the director of lobby group Exit International, says it is time to restart the debate with a new generation of Australians.

Update: Canada bans TV euthanasia advert

30th September 2010.From

A controversial pro-euthanasia ad has been banned from Canadian airwaves, and the group behind it is facing roadblocks at every corner of its Canadian speaking tour, where it instructs people on how to commit suicide painlessly.

Exit International's ad, which is available online, features a gaunt-looking man sitting at the edge of a bed. I chose to marry Tina, have two great kids. I chose to always drive a Ford, says the actor in the commercial. What I didn't choose is being terminally ill. I didn't choose to starve to death because eating is like swallowing razor blades. I certainly didn't choose to have to watch my family go through it with me. I've made my final choice. I just need the government to listen.

Exit took the ad to Canada to promote its Canadian speaking tour, but the Television Bureau of Canada also banned it for contravening Canadian law, which does not permit assisted suicide.

There's always some opposition, he says. Our line is that the provision of good information allows people to make free choices.

Dr. Philip Nitschke, the Australian physician behind Exit International will tour Canada starting in Vancouver on Oct. 7, and continues in Toronto on Oct. 13. But he's already run into obstacles. The Toronto Public Library cancelled his Oct. 13. appearance, and he's speaking at a Unitarian Church instead. Last fall, the Vancouver Public Library banned an appearance.

Update: New Zealand accepts TV euthanasia advert

Based on article from

An advertisement advocating voluntary euthanasia that was banned from Australian screens is likely to air in New Zealand.

The script for the ad from Exit International was approved by the Commercial Approvals Bureau this week.

Exit International director Dr Philip Nitschke is hopeful the initial positive response means the full ad will also be approved for screening: However, the same thing happened initially in Australia and then the ad was pulled 24 hours before it was due to screen. Hopefully the same thing doesn't happen in New Zealand.

Commercial Approvals Bureau director Rob Hoar said he didn't understand the Australian's reasoning: We had no problems with the script. It would probably have to been screen during adult's viewing time because it deals with adult issues, but initially there are no problems with it.


17th September

 Offsite: Antonio Federici Crucified...

Link Here
Full story: Antonio Federici Ice Cream...Ice cream adverts wind up the nutters
ASA easily offended at ad for 'immaculately conceived' ice cream

See article from


15th September   

Update: Antonio Federici Crucified...

ASA easily offended at ad for 'immaculately conceived' ice cream
Link Here
Full story: Antonio Federici Ice Cream...Ice cream adverts wind up the nutters

A magazine ad for Antonio Federici ice cream showed a heavily pregnant woman dressed as a nun standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream in one hand and a spoon in the other. Text stated Immaculately Conceived ... ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION .

Ten readers challenged whether the ad was offensive to Christians, particularly to those who practised Catholicism.

Antonio Federici said the idea of conception represented the development of their ice cream. They said their decision to use religious imagery stemmed from their strong feelings towards their product (they cited the text ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION ) and also from their wish to comment on and question, using satire and gentle humour, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues. They believed the small number of complaints the ASA had received represented a very small proportion of the readership of the publications. They did not believe offence had been so deeply felt as to affect their right, as marketers, to free expression and that offence caused to a small minority should not affect the ability of the wider public to see their ad. They believed that, as a form of art and self-expression, advertising should be challenging and often iconoclastic.

The publishers of The Lady magazine had received eight complaints made direct to them. They said that, in hindsight, it had been a misjudgement on their part to publish the ad. They regretted the offence that had been caused to their readers and said they would not publish the ad or anything similar to it in future.

Grazia said they considered the statement ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION suggested that the ad was intended to be lighthearted and not mocking of any religious groups. They said the editorial content of Grazia encouraged debate and questioning. As such, they believed the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to their readers.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted that 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. Compliance with the Code will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards of decency . We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics. We concluded that to use such an image in a light hearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith.

We noted that the number of complaints was relatively small but that the ad had been placed in a small number of publications only.

The ad breached CAP Code clause 5.1 (Decency).


10th September   

Prudes to Censor Internet Advertising...

Can't we chuck the ASA on the bonfire, too?
Link Here

We don't need a prudish and unaccountable watchdog to decide how products and services are presented to us.

The Lib-Con chancellor George Osborne has announced a bonfire of the quangos with a wide range of bureaucratic, regulatory bodies being scaled back or biting the dust. Even media and telecoms regulator Ofcom is facing significant cuts. One body bucking this trend, however, is the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which will be recruiting new staff to police vast swathes of the internet previously outside of the watchdog's remit.

For the ASA, the internet is better described as the Wild West Web .

This is now changing. Apparently, in response to a formal recommendation from a wide cross-section of UK industry , the ASA will now extend its coverage to all marketing communications emanating from the UK online, including advertising on Facebook and Twitter as well as the websites of companies and organisations of all sizes. Even members of the public could be censured online if it is found that they have been asked by companies to partake in marketing initiatives. It will be – in the words of ASA chairman Chris Smith - the most comprehensive approach to the regulation of advertising in website space anywhere in the world .

...Read the full article


1st September   

Internet Censors...

ASA to censor internet adverts from 1st March 2011
Link Here

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is extending its remit to cover the online realm.

It means that online marketing and ads will, from 1 March 2011, be subject to the same strict advertising rules as traditional media.

The ASA will also have the power to ban marketing statements on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter

This is a massive step. Consumers don't differentiate between adverts on TV or online and this ensures that claims online will be subject to the same strict scrutiny of those in traditional media, said an ASA spokesman.

The new rules will apply to adverts and any statement on a website that is intended to sell products or services. Websites will be given until 1 March 2011 to comply with the new rules.

In an effort to protect online freedom of speech, the ASA's new remit will not extend to journalistic and editorial content related to causes and ideas. But direct requests for donations for fund-raising will be under its jurisdiction.

The ASA will also be given new sanctions against online ads found to be in breach of its regulations, including the removal of paid-for search advertising and the right to place its own advertisements highlighting an advertiser's non-compliance.


31st August   

Update: We Believe in Salivation...

Nutters salivating over easy offence at ice cream advert
Link Here

Two ice cream adverts, one showing a pregnant nun and the other two male priests about to kiss, are facing a ban by the advertising watchdog after offending Roman Catholics.

Complaints have previously been reported about the slogan immaculately conceived appearing on the image of the nun eating from a pot of Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano.

But now the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has indicated the image of the nun is likely to be banned.

Meanwhile, the picture of two men in cassocks and clerical collars, embracing with their lips inches apart, bears the words we believe in salivation . The ASA is now investigating this advert too.

British firm Antonio Federici said the adverts celebrated the implied forbidden Italian temptations of the ice cream. Creative director Matt O'Connor said: Only a tiny proportion of those who have seen the ads have made complaints. They seem to be upholding the views of a bigoted minority over the majority.

But retired Catholic bishop John Jukes decried such adverts, saying: They tend to add to the general downgrading and attack on religious opinions and religiously committed people, which is a danger to the welfare of our culture.'


31st August   

Naked Commercialism...

Bare arms and legs inappropriate for Venice square
Link Here

A giant billboard showing Julianne Moore, the American actress, unclothed but with her modesty maintained by a Bulgari handbag and a pair of lion cubs has been ruled inappropriate by the guardians of decorum in Venice.

The Bulgari advertisement, which would have been erected in St Mark's Square, had been expected to adorn the magnificent Doge's Palace, which overlooks St Mark's Square and Venice's lagoon.

But it was deemed too risqué by the city's recently elected mayor, Giorgio Orsoni, and will be replaced instead by other images of Miss Moore fully dressed and modelling Bulgari jewellery.

An advertisement showing a nude woman on a divan is not appropriate for St Mark's Square, Orsoni told Italian newspapers.

The city council of Venice has been fiercely criticised for allowing advertisers to put up hoardings over the façade of centuries-old palazzi, but has justified such commercial deals by saying that they bring in desperately needed revenue for restoration and conservation at a time when funds from the Italian government have been cut to the bone.


15th August   

Updated: Nutters This Way...

Whinges about New Zealand Erotica billboard upheld
Link Here

A billboard image of a naked woman on all fours with a large arrow provocatively placed below her and preceded by the words entrance this way was an unacceptable way to advertise the Erotica Lifestyles Expo, the Advertising Standards Authority decided.

The Erotica Expo, promoted by porn tycoon Steve Crow, is an adult entertainment convention held annually.

There were two complainants about this image, both with similar arguments.

The image was offensive and inappropriate for public display, according to one whinger from Palmerston North. The complainant took particular objection to the arrow and statement entrance this way as it represented the direction for sexual intercourse and made the billboard even more offensive.

In response, promoter Eden Digital said that the use of the arrow alluded to sexual intercourse was unintended.

The ASA upheld the complaints. While the advertiser was entitled to promote the expo, the image of the naked woman on all fours was unacceptable, the ASA said in its deliberation. The image had been before the board previously and in keeping with its previous determination of a similar advertisement, it found that basic principles and code of ethics were breached

Update: A Nice Juicy Whinge

27th August 2010. Based on article from

More than 50 complaints have been made over porn king Steve Crow's mobile billboard promoting this weekend's Erotica Expo in Auckland.

But it didn't stop about 10,000 people going to the event at the ASB Showgrounds.

The mobile billboard shows a woman holding half a melon with her finger in it.

Complaints have been made to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Crow said the billboard had worked: At the end of the day the billboard shows the girl holding a melon. How people interpret that is up to them. I'm not responsible for how people think.

The billboard has been slammed by lobby group Family First. It's absolutely disgusting, said national director Bob McCoskrie: It's suggestive, it's offensive and quite clear what it's getting at. It exposes children to inappropriate material. We need to protect the moral innocence of children.


12th August   

F**cking Censors...

ASA easily offended by asterixed strong language
Link Here

A direct mailing, for a marketing agency, was in the form of a valentine's card; text on the front stated I F**CKING LOVE YOU . Further text on an adjacent page stated … You might f**cking love us .

Two complainants objected that the language in the ad was offensive.

The Fuel Agency Ltd (TFA) said no expletive was used in the ad. They believed it was commonly understood that to communicate an expletive without causing offence, it was acceptable to use the widespread format f**k . They said 1,000 of the ads were sent to a purchased mailing list.

ASA Assessment Upheld

The ASA noted the expletive in the ad was partly obscured but considered the intended meaning was still clear. We were concerned that the expletive, although partly obscured, was used on the front of an untargeted direct mailing. We noted the expletive was irrelevant to the product and considered its use was gratuitous in the context of an ad about marketing services. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients.


11th August   

Update: Suspiciously Closed Curtains...

ASA bans police advert suggesting that perfectly common and normal behaviour is suspicious
Link Here

A radio ad for the Anti-Terrorist Hotline stated The following message is brought to you by Talk Sport and the Anti-Terrorist Hotline. The man at the end of the street doesn't talk to his neighbours much, because he likes to keep himself to himself. He pays with cash because he doesn't have a bank card, and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route. This may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you having suspicions. We all have a role to play in combating terrorism. If you see anything suspicious, call the confidential, Anti-Terrorist Hotline. If you suspect it, report it .

1. Ten listeners, who believed the ad encouraged people to report law-abiding citizens who acted in the way described in the ad, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

2. 16 listeners, who believed the ad could encourage people to harass or victimise their neighbours, challenged whether the ad was harmful.

3. Nine listeners challenged whether the ad made an undue appeal to fear.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA noted that the ad described a man who always paid with cash, did not speak to his neighbours and kept his curtains closed during the day. We noted that description was based on behavioural trends identified by the police, and that the ad suggested that, when taken together, those behaviours could be grounds for suspicion.

However, we considered that the ad could also describe the behaviour of a number of law-abiding people within a community and we considered that some listeners, who might identify with the behaviours referred to in the ad, could find the implication that their behaviour was suspicious, offensive. We also considered that some listeners might be offended by the suggestion that they report members of their community for acting in the way described. We therefore concluded that the ad could cause serious offence.

2. Not upheld

We noted that the ad conveyed its message in a measured and reasonable tone, and we therefore considered the ad was not sensationalist. We also noted that it did not suggest that listeners approach, harass or victimise anyone about whom they might have concerns, but instead asked listeners to call a police hotline. We considered that the ad did not encourage or condone harassment or victimisation and we therefore concluded that the ad was not harmful.

3. Not upheld

We noted that the intention of the ad was to raise awareness of the planning stages of terrorist attacks and to engage the public in reporting anything they might find suspicious. We also noted that the ads message was presented in a measured tone, which we considered was unlikely to provoke alarm.

Notwithstanding our concerns, in point 1 above, that the ad could cause serious offence, we noted that the ad stated that the behaviours described may mean nothing, but together could add up to you having suspicions , and we considered that that conditional wording was proportionate and unlikely to cause anxiety for listeners about the extent of terrorist activity in their neighbourhood. We therefore concluded that the ad did not make an undue appeal to fear.


6th August   

Comment: Oops...

ASA caught spouting bollox about likely widespread offence
Link Here

A poster, for a lap dancing club was headed Corporate Gentleman's Entertainment Club Oops …! . The ad showed an image of a naked woman from the waist down with underwear pulled down around her thighs. In the place of her face and upper body was a cartoon drawing of the silhouette of a naked woman pole dancing, above the word Oops … .


The complainant challenged whether the ad was sexist, offensive and demeaning to women and the nudity and sexual content was unsuitable for public display.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA understood that the poster had been in place for a year, but was no longer appearing.

We noted that the woman was pictured naked and considered her pose and the removal of her underwear were likely to be seen as sexually suggestive. We noted that the nudity in the ad reflected the nature of Club Oops, but considered that the depiction of the woman in such a provocative pose with her underwear pulled down around her thighs, was likely to be seen as unduly explicit and degrading to women.

We concluded that the image was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and concluded it was unsuitable for public display.

Comment: Widespread Offence of One Person

6th August 2010. Based on comment from IanG on the Melon Farmers Forum

ASA: We concluded that the image was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and concluded it was unsuitable for public display.

This conclusion is based on one complaint from one complainant after a year on display...

Methinks the ASA is full of shit. To conclude an ad would cause widespread offence and is somehow unsuitable for public display after its been on display for a year and attracted only ONE complaint in all that time can in no way lead to, substantiate or support the ASA's, quite irrational, conclusion .

The ASA are clearly not fit to judge. There's not one shred of rationality in their thinking . Not one shred of evidence to support their view.

Offence is not grounds to censure ANY material under the terms of Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998. This poster is clearly not a threat to national security; it is not libelous or slanderous; nor is it potentially harmful. A drawing of a partial female figure removing underwear is not physically, psychologically or morally harmful, indeed, I'd bet 99.99% of females remove their undewear in a similar fashion everyday without causing any harm to any on-lookers of any age.

Why I wonder do the ASA believe their Code can be implemented in a way which is compatible with the HRA when the HRA doesn't allow mere offence caused to some cretinous and/or deranged twat to justify censorship? Subjective opinions DO NOT constitute proof of harm. One complaint after a year on display doesn't tend to suggest there's any major widespread concern or widespread offence.


5th August   

Update: This Organisation May Contain Nuts...

Girl Guides call for airbrush warning on every glamour image
Link Here
Full story: Photoshopped Models...Campaigners to ban photoshopped adverts

  Sorry girls. The pop star image that you are
idolising has been artificially enhanced.

Photoshopped images of models and celebrities should be labelled to ease the damaging pressures on young women to have the perfect figure, thousands of Girl Guides have demanded.

More than 20,000 girls have signed a petition urging Prime Minister David Cameron to force magazines to tell readers when photographs have been enhanced. They claim airbrushing is undermining the self-confidence of an entire generation.

Their petition follows research conducted by Girlguiding UK, which found that 42%of girls aged 11 to 16 admitted dieting to improve their figures. The research also found that half of those aged 16 to 21 would have surgery to improve their looks.

The guides organisation, which has 700,000 members in Britain, is the biggest group so far to support growing criticism of advertisers and the publishing industry for its routine use of heavily doctored photographs. Images are generally retouched to make celebrities or models appear thinner or to remove wrinkles or blemishes.

Lynne Featherstone, the Equalities Minister, said she wanted magazines to stop airbrushing shots or to have some sort of kitemark to show which images were genuine, although she has said she does not want to impose regulations or change the law. She welcomed the campaign by the guides, the biggest membership group for young girls.

Editors have the right to publish whatever pictures they want, but women and girls also have the right to be comfortable in their bodies and at the moment they are being denied that. The fact that 20000 women have signed this petition shows there is a problem here, she said.

Liz Burnley, chief guide, said that a voluntary approach would not work. From our everyday experiences working with girls and young women, we know how profoundly they feel the pressure to conform to a particular image and how badly they can be affected by these unobtainable ideals. We are proud to support our members, who believe that it is time the prime minister addressed their concerns.


4th August   

Update: Complaints Aborted...

ASA clears Marie Stopes TV advert
Link Here
Full story: Marie Stopes Advert...Advert for abortion services winds up nutters

The ASA received 1,054 complaints, plus a further 3,296 postcards which made up a petition organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), and another petition with 63 signatures. In addition there were 327 pre-transmission complaints. As some viewers objected that the TV ad carried a political message, because they believed the advertisers actively campaigned to change the law on abortion, the ASA referred those complaints to Ofcom.

Three women were featured in a TV ad for Marie Stopes International (MSI), a not-for-profit organisation which provided sexual and reproductive healthcare advice, information and services. First, a woman waiting at a bus stop, looking down the road, with the onscreen text Jenny Evans is late ; then, a woman in a park with her two small children, with the text Katie Simmons is late ; and finally, a woman in a café, with the text Shareen Butler is late . A female voiceover said: If you're late for your period, you could be pregnant. If you're pregnant and not sure what to do, Marie Stopes International can help . The end caption carried the text Are you late? , a phone number, and the website address.


Complainants included members of the public, GPs, people who offered counselling, MPs and other representatives, and MPs who forwarded their constituents' concerns.

The complainants objected that the ad was misleading, offensive and harmful and queried its compliance with specific Code rules.

1. Viewers objected that the ad was offensive because: it promoted abortion; of their religious beliefs; it trivialised the difficult decision faced by women experiencing an unwanted pregnancy; decisions about the life of an unborn child were being equated to decisions about consumer goods; it would be distressing to those women who had taken the decision to have an abortion; it did not take into account the views of the father; it was sexist towards women by implying that the pregnancy was solely the woman's responsibility; and by featuring a mother with her small children, it suggested that the life of an unborn child was less important than a woman's existing children.

2. Viewers objected that the ad was harmful because: the ad would encourage viewers to have an abortion when they had not previously considered that option; and, it would encourage promiscuity, especially amongst young people.

3. Viewers objected that the ad was misleading because: it promoted abortion, but did not make reference to the physical and mental health risks or physical and psychological effects which could be experienced after an abortion; the ad was illegally offering abortion on demand; it implied that obtaining an abortion was easier than it was in reality; it failed to mention that pregnant women who wanted advice should contact their GPs or seek the advice of family members; and it was unclear what services were on offer; some believed Marie Stopes offered a full range of advice about pregnancy, whilst others believed the advertisers were advocates for abortion.

Some viewers challenged whether MSI should be allowed to advertise on TV, because:

4. they believed MSI was a commercial company that charged for its services;

5. the ad promoted a Prescription Only Medicine (POM) or a medical procedure, which they believed was not permitted by the Code;

6. the ad was for a medicinal product aimed at children;

7. the ad offered a remote personal advice service on health matters, which they believed breached rule 8.1.3 of the Code relating to services offering remote personalised advice on medical or health matters or which offer to prescribe or treat remotely.

8. Some viewers objected to the scheduling of the ad at times when children might see it.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the issue of abortion was controversial and distasteful to some, and that the complainants had strong personal and religious objections to the advertising of abortion services, or services that gave advice about abortion. We also noted that many complainants regarded the advertisers as advocates of abortion and therefore interpreted the ad as a promotion of abortion. However, the ad was for an advice service for women dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and stated that MSI could help women who were pregnant and not sure what to do . We understood that MSI provided a wide range of advisory and health services and advised on all options during consultations with clients. We noted that the ad did not focus on any one particular service offered by MSI and did not mention abortion. We therefore considered it was an ad for a general pregnancy advice service for women who wished to learn about and discuss their options, which might include, but were not limited to, abortion.

We understood that post-conception decisions could be very difficult, but considered the ad dealt with the issue of possible pregnancy in an understated way and was not sensationalist. The women featured in the ad looked deep in thought, and we did not therefore consider that the ad trivialised the dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy. Whilst the ad featured three women, we did not consider that it suggested that only the woman would be affected, or that she should take any decisions alone. We did not consider that the ad focused on or advocated any particular choice or course of action over another, or put forward any assumptions about what the women would or should do. Whilst we recognised that any reminder of a difficult time, such as an unplanned pregnancy, could evoke a response in someone directly affected, we considered that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence on that basis.

2. Not upheld

We noted that the ad promoted a general advice line for women who were pregnant and not sure what to do, but did not explicitly mention or advocate abortion. We therefore did not consider that the ad promoted abortion or would encourage women to contemplate one particular option above any other. We noted that the ad featured three different women of child-bearing age, but did not focus on their lifestyles or the circumstances of any particular pregnancy in any detail. We also noted that the women were shown in everyday settings and were not presented in a glamorous way, and we did not consider that the ad would have a particular appeal to young people or encourage promiscuity. We therefore concluded that the ad that was not harmful.

3. Not upheld

We noted that the ad was directed at women who thought they might be pregnant. We considered that it was clear that the ad was promoting the Advice Line as a source of information for those women, and noted that it did not advocate one option over another. We did not consider that it suggested that pregnant women should not consult their GP or family members for support or advice. We understood that MSI was a Pregnancy Advice Bureau (PAB) regulated by the Department of Health and, as a provider of services on behalf of the NHS, were obliged to offer a range of advice on all the options available to pregnant women. We were satisfied that any callers to the Advice Line would be advised about the health implications of any intervention or procedure which might be appropriate for her, in consultation with a qualified and regulated healthcare professional. We noted the ad did not refer to abortion and considered there was no evidence that MSI offered abortion on demand, in conflict with the law.

4. Not upheld

We understood that Marie Stopes charged private clients for its services, but that NHS-referred clients did not pay fees. We understood that MSI was a charity registered with the Charity Commission and revenue derived from its fees was not for profit, but was used to support charitable works directly related to post-conception advice and services, as well as family planning, contraception and other sexual and reproductive health related issues. We considered that the ad promoted a non-commercial advice service, and therefore concluded that MSI was permitted to advertise that service on TV under the Code.

5. & 6. Not upheld

We noted the ad was for MSIs general pregnancy advisory service, and that it did not refer to any medicinal product or medical treatment. We therefore considered that the ad did not promote a POM or medical procedure.

In addition, we did not consider that the content of the ad was directly targeted at children, or would have a particular appeal to children. We therefore concluded that the ad was not in breach of the Code on these points.

7. Not upheld

We noted that rule 8.3.1 of the BCAP Television Advertising Code stated that ads for services offering remote personalised advice on medical or health matters were only acceptable where that advice was provided by staff who were regulated by a statutory or recognised medical or health professional body. We understood MSI operated within a clear regulatory structure supervised by government. We also understood that any caller who contacted the MSI Advice Line, and who wanted specific advice on which healthcare option might be most appropriate for her, would only receive advice on medical and health matters from a registered nurse or qualified counsellor. Because we understood that the advice was only provided by staff who were subject to regulation by statutory or recognised medical or health professional bodies, we did not consider that the ad was in breach of rule 8.1.3 of the Code.

8. Not upheld

We noted that the ad had been given an ex-kids timing restriction, which meant it should not be shown on dedicated childrens channels, or in or around those programmes on other channels made for, or specifically targeted at, children. We considered that that restriction was sufficient to keep the ad away from times when younger children were likely to be watching TV alone. We did not consider that the ad needed to be kept away from times when older children would be watching TV, and therefore concluded that the ex-kids timing restriction that had been imposed was sufficient.


19th July   

End of the World for Whingers...

ASA turn down their ludicrous complaints about Pepsi Max advert
Link Here

 A TV and Video on Demand (VOD) ad for Pepsi Max.

The ad showed a woman and a man sitting near each other at a bar. The man leant towards the woman and said Hey, if you need another? to which she replied I'm fine . A breaking news story then played on the bar's TV and a reporter said I can now officially confirm that a huge asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and will destroy all life . The barman began to panic and scrambled along the bar shouting We're gonna die, we're all gonna die! . The customers then fled leaving only the man and woman at the bar. The reporter then said Reach out to someone, anyone who's near, show them you love them. Don't be alone . The woman and the man then looked at each other for a moment before she ran towards him and they kissed as they fell to the floor. The ad then cut to the bar's kitchen where the barman and the reporter from the TV were shown in a fake news studio. They were revealed to be friends of the man from the bar as he walked in. The reporter asked him And? , the man replied Thank you guys, I love you . Music played and all three men were then shown dancing and drinking the product. On-screen text stated MAX IT! above a product shot.


1. 36 viewers challenged whether the ad was harmful, because they believed the ad condoned deception as a means of obtaining sex, condoned rape or sexual assault and promoted casual sex.

2. 38 viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive, because they believed the ad was sexist, demeaned women, portrayed men as sexual predators and portrayed women as sex objects.

3. 8 viewers challenged whether The ad was suitable to be broadcast at times when children might be watching.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the men used an elaborate ruse, including the staging of a fake news broadcast about the imminent destruction of the world, to entice the woman to kiss one of them. We considered this scenario was obviously fantastical and could clearly not be imitated by viewers. We also noted that the men did not use physical coercion and that the woman did not flee the bar with the other customers, but instead chose to stay behind before running towards the man, jumping on him and initiating the kiss. We therefore considered that she was shown to take the initiative in the encounter, rather than being depicted as being intimidated or acting against her will.

We noted that, although the two were seen kissing and falling to the floor, this was clearly a consensual act between two adults and that there was no nudity or an explicit sex scene. Nor did we consider that the ad suggested that such an encounter would be acceptable in more normal circumstances or that casual sex was acceptable. We therefore concluded the ad was not harmful in the manner suggested by the complainants.

2. Not upheld

We understood that the mans ability to elicit the kiss from the woman was a result solely of the elaborate ruse which he had concocted with his friends and that serious coercion or violence were not used, threatened or implied. We therefore considered that the men were depicted as comedic rather than predatory.

We also noted that all the customers in the bar were seen to fall for the hoax and react by panicking and fleeing. However, the woman was shown to remain calm before taking the initiative to kiss the man. We therefore did not consider that she was depicted as any more suggestible or less intelligent than the other patrons and we did not consider that the ad was sexist towards either her or women in general.

While we considered that some viewers would find the ad distasteful, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

3. Not upheld

We noted that the ad had been given an ex-kids timing restriction, which meant that it should not be broadcast in or around programmes targeted at young children.

We noted that the ad did not contain any nudity or sex scenes and considered that the ad was unlikely to be harmful to older children who would understand the faking of a news broadcast, and the ruse in general, to be fantastical.

However, we noted that the ad featured a passionate kiss and dealt with vaguely adult themes such as deception and seduction, albeit in a light-hearted, fantastical situation. We also considered that, while there was no explicit content, the men's back-slapping and dancing at the end of the ad could be seen as suggestive that something more than a kiss had occurred. We therefore agreed that a restriction to keep the ad away from times when younger children would be watching TV alone was appropriate. We did not consider a later restriction was necessary.


18th July   

Fear and Distress...

ASA distressed by London Dungeon advert
Link Here

A digital escalator panel poster for the Bloody Mary: Killer Queen attraction at the London Dungeon, which appeared at London Underground stations, showed a portrait of Queen Mary sitting still and passively. Suddenly and quickly she turned to face the viewer and opened her mouth wide in a threatening manner, as if she was screaming. At the same time, her face morphed into that of a zombie-like character, with bloody gashes, white flesh, rotting teeth and red eyes. She then resumed her original passive position and her face returned to normal. On-screen text stated New for 2010 Bloody Mary: Killer Queen At the London Dungeon ... . Issue

Four complainants objected that the ad was likely to frighten and distress children, and was therefore inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium. One of the complainants said his eight-year-old child had been frightened by the ad. Another of the complainants said he had seen the ad many times on London Underground escalators and it had visibly shocked and upset several children.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted the ad was untargeted and could therefore be seen by anyone. We considered that the London Underground attracted families and the ad was likely to be seen by young children.

We considered that the morphing image, and the juxtaposition of a calm face with a very scary one, were likely to startle and frighten young children. We noted the switch between the passive and frightening face occurred suddenly and unexpectedly, which could increase the shock value. We also considered that when the face morphed into the scary character, the bloody gashes, white flesh, rotting teeth, red eyes and the threatening expression meant it was not suitable for young children to see.

We were of the view that the ad seemed to be setting out to scare and had overstepped the limit of acceptability in doing so because, although not frightening for adults, the image was likely to be shocking to young children and to cause them fear or distress without good reason. We concluded that the ad was inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium.

The ad breached CAP Code clause 9.1 (Fear and distress). The ad must not appear again in its current form.


17th July   

Update: Some Animals are More Equal than Others...

Pamela Anderson Peta advert banned from display in Montreal
Link Here
Full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

A vegetarian advert featuring Pamela Anderson in a bikini has been banned in Canada for being sexist .

Anderson features in a poster for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) covered in butcher's labels such as rump , ribs and breast .

The creators of the advert, which includes the slogan All Animals Have The Same Parts , had been seeking approval for it to be displayed in Montreal.

But Canadian officials rejected the banner, telling the animal rights group in an email it went against the battle of equality between men and women .

Anderson, who is a vegetarian and long-time Peta activist, hit out at the puritanical decision. She was due to unveil the poster at Montreal's Place Jaques-Cartier, but will now introduce it at a comedy festival media conference.

She said: In a city that is known for its exotic dancing and for being progressive and edgy, how sad that a woman would be banned from using her own body in a political protest over the suffering of cows and chickens.

In some parts of the world, women are forced to cover their whole bodies with burkas - is that next? I didn't think that Canada would be so puritanical.


5th July   

Off Their Trolley...

Russian bikini stewardess adverts wind up Australian air crews
Link Here

A new ad by a Russian airline featuring bikini-clad flight attendants washing planes has taken raunchiness to another level.

The saucy clip promoting Moscow-based start-up airline Avianova shows women stripping out of their stewardess uniforms and washing the company's planes.

It is the latest airline to use sex as a selling point. Last week another new airline, Spirit Airlines, came under fire for its raunchy ad. The commercial, featuring scantily clad women with the slogan Check Out The Oil On Our Beaches , was slammed for poking fun at the BP oil disaster. The airline has since pulled the ad following widespread condemnation.

Based on article from

The Australian Flight Attendants Association is petitioning the International Transport Federation to put a stop to Avianova-style travel advertising, which they consider to be over-the-top demeaning to women.

The basic claim isn't so much an abstract argument about sexism in advertising, although that's definitely included. The real issue is one of potential sexual harassment. If male passengers are told and shown that female flight attendants are sex objects, as the reasoning goes they're more liable to treat female flight attendants as sex objects. The result is that you have more drunks grabbing the thighs of more stewardesses in the middle of more flights.


1st July   

Exposed Tits at the ASA...

Advert censor makes ludicrous claims about widespread and serious offence
Link Here

Two posters, a Dazed and Confused magazine ad and a Grazia magazine ad for the Diesel clothing company:

a. One poster featured an image of a woman standing outdoors in a bikini. The woman was shown holding open her bikini bottoms with one hand and taking a photograph of her genitals with the other. A lion was shown prowling behind her and text stated SMART MAY HAVE THE BRAINS, BUT STUPID HAS THE BALLS. BE STUPID. DIESEL .

b. Another poster featured an image of a woman on a stepladder who was lifting her top and exposing her breasts to a security camera. Text stated SMART MAY HAVE THE BRAINS, BUT STUPID HAS THE BALLS. BE STUPID. DIESEL .

c. A Dazed and Confused magazine ad featured an image of a woman on a stepladder who was lifting her top and exposing her breasts to a security camera. Text stated SMART MAY HAVE THE BRAINS, BUT STUPID HAS THE BALLS. BE STUPID. DIESEL .

d. An ad in Grazia magazine featured an image of a giant inflatable shape with a smiley face on it. Two denim clad bottoms were shown poking through holes in the face as if to form its eyes. Text stated ONLY THE STUPID CAN BE TRULY BRILLIANT. BE STUPID. DIESEL .

33 complainants objected that the ads:

  1. were unsuitable to be seen by children;
  2. were offensive; and
  3. condoned or encouraged behaviour that was anti-social.

ASA Assessment: Complaints 1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that none of the ads showed full frontal nudity but considered that posters (a) and (b) contained sexual undertones. We noted ads (a) and (b) were posters and therefore appeared in an untargeted medium that were difficult to avoid and were likely to be seen by children. We considered the image of the woman in poster (a) was likely to cause serious offence to many adults because it was clear that she was taking a photograph of her genitalia and that the image of the woman exposing herself on the ladder in poster ad (b) was likely to cause serious or widespread offence because, although her breasts were only partially visible, the image showed her exposing herself to a surveillance camera. We were further concerned that the images of young women photographing their genitalia and exposing their breasts to a camera in a public place were unsuitable to be displayed on posters, an untargeted medium that was likely to be seen by children, because of the overt sexualisation involved in the depicted acts.

We concluded that the content of the posters was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to adults in an untargeted medium and was unsuitable to be seen by children.

We noted magazine ads (c) and (d) were unlikely to be seen by children because the publications were aimed specifically at adults. We also noted the editorial content of those magazines included material that covered sexual themes and considered that, in the context of the rest of the magazines contents, the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to readers of Dazed and Confused and Grazia.

Posters (a) and (b) breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Responsible advertising) and 5.1 and 5.2 (Decency).

ASA Assessment: Complaint 3. Upheld

We noted the image of the woman alone in a field with the lion in poster ad (a) was surreal and stylized and considered that, because of the surreal setting, the image was unlikely to be seen to condone or encourage people to expose themselves in public. We therefore considered that the ad was unlikely to encourage or condone anti-social behaviour.

However, we noted the image in poster ad (b) appeared realistic and considered that the image portrayed socially challenging actions that might be attractive to younger consumers who would be interested in the youthful and edgy fashion range and might encourage behaviour that was anti-social or irresponsible. Although magazine ad (c) portrayed the same image as poster ad (b), we considered that readers of Dazed and Confused magazine would interpret the ad within the context of the whole magazine and would see it as a tongue-in-cheek comment on society rather than an encouragement of anti-social behaviour.

Although we understood some readers might have found the image in magazine ad (d) distasteful, we considered that most readers of Grazia magazine would see the action as playful and, even if emulated, would be unlikely to view it as anti-social. We concluded that magazine ad (d) did not condone or encourage anti-social behaviour

Poster ad (b) breached CAP Code clause 11.1 (Violence and anti-social behaviour).

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