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Advertising News

2010: Oct-Dec

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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.


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
Full story: Antonio Federici Ice Cream...Ice cream adverts wind up the nutters

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).


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.


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.


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.


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
Full story: Antonio Federici Ice Cream...Ice cream adverts wind up the nutters

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   

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 .


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?


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.

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