|23rd December |
Australian advertisers have fun with Pussy energy drink
See article from
Australian marketeers are having fun with a new energy drink that has just arrived in Queensland called Pussy.
As distributors plan to saturate the state's shops with the product, a furore is already stirring about the double meaning in the name
and its placement alongside other soft drinks in family stores.
The drink, backed by Richard Branson's children Sam and Holly, is the centre of some overtly provocative advertising, with photos of naked women with fully clothed men in suggestive
The drink has a great slogan: The drink's pure. It's your mind that's the problem .
Collective Shout co-founder Melinda Tankard Reist told The Sunday Mail that the group was discussing a boycott, not only of the product,
but also any stockists. She said:
The Pussy energy drink is another example of the mainstreaming of porn-inspired themes.
It encourages teen boys to say, 'I'm going to get some Pussy', or 'I
could really use some Pussy', so a woman's body is consumed by a man.
Russell Dymond of Liquid NRG, the Brisbane distributor of Pussy, told The Sunday Mail the name was not smutty:
It's a brand with
a unique name, just as Richard Branson's Virgin brand created a stir when it was first introduced but now is a word that is on everyone's lips. As the slogan suggests, it depends what your mind makes of the name.
|14th December |
Ryanair rightly not bothered by miserable complaints from Sweden about 2012 bikini calendar
13th December 2011. See article from
In about a month after the release of the 2012 edition of Ryanair's Cabin Crew Charity Calendar, the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen-RO) has received 33 complaints about adverts promoting the calendar.
[Thirty Three] People
think the advertisment is sexist and that it doesn't belong on a website meant to sell plane tickets, Advertising Ombudsman Elisabeth Trotzig told The Local.
33 complaints lands the Ryanair calendar campaign second only to an ad campaign for
the Victoria Milan dating service, which supposedly encouraged marital infidelity, in terms of the number of complaints filed with the Ombudsman.
Ryanair now has two weeks to respond to the Ombudsman about the complaints, after which the watchdog
will decide how to proceed with the case.
Ryanair's spokesperson Stephen McNamara rightly didn't seem bothered by Swedish complaints over the calendar, a project the airline has carried out annually since 2008.
Ryanair's cabin crew
calendar has raised EUR500,000 ($672,000) for charity in just five years and we will continue to support the right of our crew to take their clothes off to raise money for those who need it most, he told The Local.
In line with previous years,
all 10,000 copies of the 2012 edition of the Ryanair swimsuit calendar have been sold.
Update: Now miserable Brits have a whinge at a Ryanair advert
14th December 2011. See
article from guardian.co.uk
The advertising watchdog is to launch an investigation into an ad campaign by Ryanair featuring a flight attendant in modest lingerie after whinges that it made it cabin crew look like glamour models .
The slightly pulled down bikini bottom
is sure to offend that advert censors of ASA. After all they do have a reputation to uphold as the Daily Mail of media censors.
The Irish budget airline ran a newspaper ad featuring a lingerie-clad flight attendant called Ornella, who appears as
the model for the month of February in the Ryanair charity calendar, with the strapline red hot fares & crew .
Ryanair has now been targeted by an online nutter campaign backed by more than 7,000 people.
The Advertising Standards
Authority has received 10 complaints from nutters who claim that the ads are sexist and objectify women, particularly female cabin crew . The complainants allege that they are offensive and unsuitable for display in a national newspaper .
|14th December |
Ad agency generates hype with a 'game' allowing players to stroll round Google Street View with an assault rifle firing at whatever takes their fancy
See video from
A Dutch advertising firm Pool has unveiled a nutter baiting game that allow you to wander the streets of London with an assault rifle.
The concept behind Google Shoot View is pretty simple: wander around any city in the world that
already uses Google Maps' Street View and pretend to use a M4A1 assault rifle to shoot anything and everything you see.
Apart from the sound effects the game is barely interactive and you can't really shoot people or cause any damage.
It seems that Google has already cut the game's connection to Google Maps. The Google Shoot View website currently threatens that, We'll be back! Only the YouTube
video is left showing what the game looked like.
Perhaps there's not enough left to wind up Keith Vaz, but you never know.
|14th December |
Swedish advert censors for once don't take easy offence at the pun milfshake
The Swedish Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen -- RO) has ruled that a campaign which referred to the Friggs-brand Naturdiet Shake as a Milfshake wasn't offensive, sexist, stereotying, or in any other way degrading toward women.
The case was referred to the watchdog's jury following several complaints which pointed out that the term milf is a common slang abbreviation for mother/mom I'd like to fuck .
According to one complaint, the advert was
deliberately playing on the term and was therefore degrading to women .
Another complainant wrote that the ad was offensive because milf is used as a collective term for women who, despite having had children and no longer being
young, are still attractive and, in a younger man's eyes, sexy .
A third complaint argued that the Friggs ad was sexist because it implied that women who have had children should care for their bodies in a manner that keeps them sexually
The Advertising Ombudsman jury ruled that the ad didn't violate the Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The jury finds that the expression milf in
connection with the image of the product indicates that this is a product for women who want to be considered sexually attractive. However, the jury doesn't believe the presentation gives an impression which can be considered offensive to the average
consumer to an extent that violates the ICC's rules, the jury wrote in its findings.
In addition, the ad lacks any other material which could be considered offensive. The jury also argued that the use of the term milfshake was likely
considered as humourous .
Because no women is portrayed in the advert, the jury doesn't find that the advert portrays women as pure sex objects in a way that can be considered offensive, the jury wrote.
|9th December |
Now the South African advert censor bans sexy adverts
See article from
Two billboards promoting fragrances by a strip club in Cape Town will have to be taken down after a recent ruling by the South African Advertising Standards Authority.
The billboards, by Mavericks, featured a woman in a sexually suggestive pose
next to the slogans I was working late or My car broke down . The adverts were for the club's new fragrance line, Alibis.
Complainants claimed that the adverts demeaned and objectified women by portraying them as sexual objects. They
said the wording encouraged thought patterns that justified cheating and extramarital affairs.
The ASA said:
It becomes clear that it is not the depiction of a woman's body per se that is problematic.
What is of relevance is the reason for the depiction.
The ASA ruled that a woman's body was being used to tantalise the club's male customers into buying a new product, by presenting the fragrance as an extension of its services. The
wording of the advert also had no relationship to the female model within the context of the business and the advertised product.
Mavericks, in its submission, said it would paint clothes onto the billboard but ASA ruled that both the original and
amended adverts unduly objectified women. The club will now have to take down the billboards within two weeks.
|7th December |
Advert censor whinges at poster for Final Destination 5
article from asa.org.uk
Two ads seen on 12 August: a poster in the Underground and another on the side of buses, for a cinema film release. Both ads showed a skull being shattered by steel rods being driven through its mouth and eye sockets. Text stated IT'S NOT IF, IT'S
WHEN FINAL DESTINATION 5 .
Thirteen complainants objected that the ads, particularly the depiction of violence, were distressing and unsuitable to be seen by children. Three complainants pointed out that the bus ad had upset
their children (aged between 1 and 3 years).
Warner Bros stated that they believed the poster accurately reflected the content of the film in an appropriate manner without causing excessive fear or distress. They said the image of
a shattered skull and steel bars was a fantasy image and would be recognised as such by those who saw it. They said the ad was surreal and did not feature people, blood or display any real life or interpersonal violence. It was designed to appeal to the
typical audience for supernatural horror movies rather than merely attract attention.
They stated that the dark grey and black colours of the advert were unlikely to engage the attention of young children and they believed young
children would not recognise the image to be that of a skull and, consequently, the ad would not unduly distress such children.
ASA Decision: Complaints Upheld
The ASA noted that the image on the poster
reflected the content of the film and that the image was animated and for a fictional movie. We acknowledged that the image was intended to give the public an idea of what to expect from the movie, and that the image was surreal and did not feature
people, blood or display any real life interpersonal violence. We considered the image of the skull being shattered by steel rods being driven through its mouth and eye sockets was likely to catch the attention of children, especially because it was
shown on a poster on the underground, where it was an untargeted medium.
Nevertheless, because very young children might view this ad depicting violence, it was likely to cause fear and undue distress to children.
The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.2 (Harm and offence).
|30th November |
Another cringeworthy PC decision from ASA finds Marks harmless lingerie advert to be overtly sexual and therefore
banned from the side of buses
" The pose of the
woman kneeling on the bed was overtly sexual,
as her legs were wide apart,
her back arched and one arm above her head
with the other touching her thigh".
Two posters, for M&S lingerie, were seen on the side of buses in September 2011. Both featured two images of women wearing lingerie.
a. The first image was a close up of a woman lying on her side. The
second image was of a women kneeling on a bed.
b. The first image was of a women lying on a bed with her legs slightly apart. The second image was of a woman sitting on a bed. Issue
Nine complainants objected that ad (a) was offensive because they believed the images were overtly sexual and objectified women.
Eight complainants objected that ad (a) was unsuitable for display as a
poster on buses because the images were sexually suggestive and were likely to be seen by children.
One complainant objected that ad (b) was unsuitable for display as a poster on buses, as the images were sexually suggestive
and were likely to be seen by children. CAP Code (Edition 12) 1.34.1 Response
Marks and Spencer (M&S) said they did not believe the ads were offensive, overtly sexual or objectifying. They said the ads simply featured the product, a lingerie range, and that they were well known as a lingerie retailer. They
said the ads were part of a major campaign for one on their sub-brands which featured both outerwear and lingerie images shot in a filmic and atmospheric style. They said that if the images were not suitable for use on buses they believed this
would have been picked up by their internal clearance process. They also said the images had been used in their in-store advertising and decor and, according to their Retail Customer Service team, they had not received any customer complaints or comments
regarding these. the pose of the woman kneeling on the bed was overtly sexual, as her legs were wide apart, her back arched and one arm above her head with the other touching her thigh.
1. Not upheld
The ASA noted that there was no explicit nudity in the images, and considered that it was reasonable to feature women wearing underwear in an ad for lingerie. We considered that the nature of the
product meant that viewers of the ad were less likely to regard the ad as gratuitous and objectifying women. We considered that the pose of the woman lying on the bed was mildly sexual in nature, as not all of her face was visible and there was some
emphasis on her breasts. We considered that the pose of the woman kneeling on the bed was overtly sexual, as her legs were wide apart, her back arched and one arm above her head with the other touching her thigh. However, although we recognised that some
might find the ad distasteful, in the context of an ad for lingerie, we did not consider that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
On this point we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and
offence) but did not find it in breach.
We noted the complainants' concerns that this ad, displayed on buses, was likely to be seen by children. We considered that most children viewing the ad
would understand that the poster was advertising lingerie and, as such, the models would not be fully clothed. We considered that the pose of the woman lying on the bed was only mildly sexual in nature, and as a result was unlikely to be seen as
unsuitable to be seen by children. However, we considered that the pose of the woman kneeling on the bed was overtly sexual, as her legs were wide apart, her back arched and one arm above her head with the other touching her thigh. We also noted that the
woman in this image wore stockings. We considered that the image was of an overtly sexual nature and was therefore unsuitable for untargeted outdoor display, as it was likely to be seen by children. We concluded that the ad was socially irresponsible.
On this point ad (a) breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).
3. Not upheld
We noted the complainants' concerns that this ad, displayed on buses, was likely to be seen by
children. We considered that most children viewing the ad would understand that the poster was advertising lingerie and, as such, the models would not be fully clothed. We considered that the image of the woman sitting on the bed was not likely to be
seen as sexual, in the context of a lingerie ad. We considered that the pose of the woman lying on the bed was mildly sexual, as her legs were slightly apart and her hands behind her head, but that, in the context of a lingerie ad, this image was less
overtly sexual than the image in ad (a), and was acceptable in untargeted outdoor media likely to be seen by children. We concluded that the ad was not socially irresponsible.
On this point we investigated ad (b) under CAP Code
(Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.
|30th November |
Major companies object to their adverts, distributed by the likes of Adsense, appearing on less than wholesome websites
29th November 2011. See
article from smh.com.au
The Internet Advertising Sales Houses of Australia (IASH), which represents many online advertising networks, is having a whinge about using ad distribution services like Google's Adsense. They have gotten upset about adverts for major brands appearing
on websites that are not entirely family/image friendly.
IASH cleared one network, Adconion Media Group, following an investigation of claims that the company had placed ads targeting Australian users on a potentially inappropriate site for their
This was after recent media reports revealing ads for brands such as Westpac, Coles and Sony appearing on sites featuring nudity.
IASH president Andrew Lockwood said he was certain that none of the group's members were involved in
He said since the recent emergence of new ad trading platforms, agencies were choosing a category of sites from thousands of sites available, and may not be aware which sites their ads would appear on. For example, the category of
entertainment may include some of the soft porn sites. He said it was sometimes a grey area, with some sites suitable for some brands but not others. He said There is a need for some sort of regulatory body or process about this to ensure the broad
safety of advertisers .
But he seems to miss the point that advert distribution services are automated and cheap. And of course placements won't be ideal. If brands want to restrict their adverts to wholesome sites, then it is easy enough, it
just takes a more bespoke manual system. But that costs money.
30th November 2011. From Alan
Advert for the movie
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I notice one of the companies whingeing is Sony. What do Sony make? Among other things, tellies, video equipment and cameras. What do lots of people make and watch using this equipment? Er, porn. Do I see a nose being cut off to spite
|26th November |
ASA prefer living in their own fairyland about 'widespread distress' and don't recognise real
'widespread distress' when they see it
See video from
The advertising censors at the ASA have received 456 complaints from parents complaining that retailer Littlewood's festive TV campaign is upsetting children by revealing that Father Christmas doesn't exist.
The ad features young children
performing in a school Christmas play who sing about who has bought their presents. They join in a chorus singing that it is their mothers who have done all the shopping.
Most of the complainants said that they wanted the ad to be rescheduled to a
later hour when children are in bed. Some parents went as far as to say that their children were distressed to find out that Father Christmas does not provide presents.
However the ASA decided:
consideration ASA council has decided that, as the ad did not make reference to Father Christmas or suggest Father Christmas did not exist, it was unlikely to cause distress to children and therefore we won't be launching an investigation.
Yes but if parents had told their kiddies that presents under the christmas tree were left by Santa then it gives the game away nevertheless.
|25th November |
Mary Whitehouse would have been proud of ASA's ludicrous claims about Lucy Pinder Lynx adverts
See article from
Feminist campaigners have been possessed by the spirit of Mary Whitehouse from
blogs.telegraph.co.uk by Brendan O'Neill
Five internet display ads for Lynx Dry Full Control deodorant. The first four ads were video ads viewed on Yahoo, Hotmail, Rotten Tomatoes and Anorak in June and July 2011. The fifth ad was a static display ad on Spotify viewed in July 2011.
a. The first ad showed Lucy Pinder carrying out various activities including getting dressed, washing a car and eating an ice lolly. In each scene she was wearing different outfits all of which revealed her cleavage. On-screen text
stated Can she make you lose control? Put premature perspiration to the test . Text at the end invited viewers to Play with Lucy and gave the web address www.lynxeffect.com.
b. The second ad showed Lucy Pinder
carrying out various activities such as stripping wallpaper, jogging, applying lip gloss, eating whipped cream off her finger and playing with a light sabre. On-screen text stated What will she do to make you lose control? . At the end of the ad
Lucy Pinder beckoned to the viewer and on-screen text stated Lucy Pinder [blank]ing makes me prematurely perspire .
c. Ad (c) was the same as ad (b) above but featured different on-screen text that stated Can she make
you lose control? and Put premature perspiration to the test .
d. The fourth ad featured various close ups of Lucy Pinder's cleavage. On-screen text at the end of the ad invited viewers to Play with Lucy and gave
the website address www.lynxeffect.com.
e. The Spotify ad featured an image of Lucy Pinder wearing underwear and bending over an oven door. Text stated Can she make you lose control? . The ad then reduced to a sidebar image
of Lucy Pinder standing outdoors under a washing line in her underwear and a short shirt. The ad invited viewers to click through to watch a video. Issue
Ten complainants challenged whether ads (a), (b), (c) and (d):
1. were offensive, because they featured sexually provocative content and were degrading to women; and
2. were irresponsible, because they were inappropriately located on sites that could be seen by
children, and could cause harm to children.
Six complainants challenged whether ad (e):
3. was offensive, because it featured sexually provocative content and was degrading to
4. was irresponsible, because it was inappropriately located on Spotify where it could be seen by children, and could cause harm to children.
Unilever said their ads for Lynx often
provoked diverse reactions and opinions, but that it was not their intention to cause harm or offence. Whilst they were confident that the ads complied with the CAP Code, they sincerely regretted any offence caused.
The ASA noted that Unilever intended the ads to be a tongue-in-cheek take on the mating game . However, we considered that the various activities that Ms Pinder
carried out were presented in a sexually provocative way, and that alongside the focus on Ms Pinder's cleavage, especially in ad (d), the ads were likely to be seen as gratuitous and to objectify women. We considered that was emphasised by the text Can she make you lose control?
in ads (a) and (c), What will she do to make you lose control? in ad (b), Lucy Pinder [blank]ing makes me prematurely perspire in ad (b), and the invitation to Play with Lucy in ads (a) and (d), which we considered would also be
seen as degrading to women. We therefore concluded that the ads were likely to cause serious and widespread offence.
On this point, ads (a), (b), (c) and (d) breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).
We noted that Yahoo had targeted the ads to men over the age of 18 years, and that 97% of users of their news channel, where the ad appeared in addition to appearing across their UK
website, were over 18. We also noted that Hotmail had targeted the ads to males between the ages of 16 and 25, and that 94% of users of the Hotmail site were over 15 and 91% were over 18 years of age. Notwithstanding our concern in point 1 above that the
ads were likely to cause offence, we noted that for the purposes of the CAP Code a child was someone under the age of 16 and considered that the ad was unlikely to cause harm to those aged 16 or over. We also considered that, because the ad was unlikely
to be seen by those under the age of 18 on the Yahoo and Hotmail sites, it was not irresponsible on those grounds for the ads to be placed on those websites.
However, we noted that we had not seen evidence that showed
what proportion of the users of the Rotten Tomatoes and Anorak websites were over 16 years of age. We understood that the Rotten Tomatoes and Anorak websites were not protected through age verification or other similar targeting, and therefore that the
ads could be viewed by a wide audience. For the reasons given in point 1 above, we considered that the ads were unsuitable to be seen by children and could cause them harm, and that Unilever had not taken adequate steps in relation to those websites to
ensure they were appropriately targeted. We therefore concluded that the ads were irresponsible.
On this point, ads (a), (b), (c) and (d) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 5.1 (Children).
We considered that the image of Lucy Pinder leaning over the oven door in her underwear was provocative. Whilst we noted that the second image of Ms Pinder wearing her underwear
and a short shirt was less suggestive, we considered that, alongside the text Can she make you lose control? , the ad was likely to be seen as objectifying women and degrading to them. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious
offence to some people.
On this point, ad (e) breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).
4. Not upheld
We noted Unilever's assertion that the
ad was targeted to Spotify users over the age of 16, and understood that, on registering, Spotify users were asked to give their age and confirm whether they were over 12 years of age and had parental consent, or over 18 years of age. Notwithstanding our
concern in point 3 above that the ad was likely to cause serious offence, we considered that the ad was unlikely to cause harm to those aged 16 or over. We also considered that, because the ad was unlikely to be seen by children under the age of 16, it
was not irresponsible on those grounds.
On this point, we investigated ad (e) under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 5.1 (Children) but did not find it in breach.
|24th November |
The ever more ludicrous ASA bans advert for unsafe photo shoot location
An ad in the September 2011 edition of Tatler Magazine for the fashion retailer, Miu Miu, featured the young model/actress Hailee Steinfeld. She was sitting on railway tracks and looked as if she was upset and may have been crying.
- A complainant, who believed the ad showed someone who had been crying, objected that it was irresponsible because it was suggestive of youth suicide, especially because the ad could be seen by impressionable young people.
- The ASA
challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it showed a child in an unsafe location.
Prada Retail UK Ltd said the ad was part of a serious, high-fashion campaign aimed at adult women. It was placed only in adult, high-fashion magazines such as Tatler.
Prada stated that the ad was not created to give this impression to anyone,
or with the intent of depicting a child in an unsafe location. The campaign was photographed by well-known photographer and film maker, Bruce Weber, and featured the well-known American actress, Hailee Steinfeld who was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA
this year for her performance in the film True Grit . The photographs were shots of the actress in between takes of the film, while she was waiting for the next scene to begin.
1. Prada said Hailee Steinfeld was rubbing her eye with her
finger, indicating that it was itchy or had something in it. This was one of the between takes shots in the campaign. Hailee Steinfeld was waiting for the next take of the film to start and, therefore, was not posing for the camera and was
relaxed. She was acting in an unconscious manner. Prada stated this was natural for a person to do when they were not being watched. They stated that Hailee Steinfeld was not crying, nor had she been asked to cry or look upset. The ad pictured her with a
wistful and thoughtful face.
2. Prada said the ad was photographed on an abandoned railway track in a foreign country. Hailee Steinfeld was sitting on the edge of the train track as if she was resting between takes of the movie on a hot
day. They said the viewpoint of the ad extended along the railway track and it was clear that there was no train in sight. Prada said that she could have easily moved from where she was sitting because she was not restrained in any way. Because the ad
was photographed on a redundant railway track in the ad, neither Hailee Steinfeld nor anyone else, was not placed in danger.
1. Not Upheld
We did not consider that Hailee Steinfeld was shown looking in
distress or that she had been crying. We noted that the ad had been carefully targeted and placed in a sophisticated, high fashion magazine with a predominantly adult readership and that the Miu Miu brand was not aimed at teenagers or young children.
Because the ad was placed in a magazine with a mainly adult readership and it showed a stylised image of Hailee Steinfeld dressed in sophisticated 1940s style clothing we considered that readers of the magazine would understand that the image was
sufficiently removed from reality and that it represented a staged fashion shoot. In that context, we therefore concluded that the ad was prepared with a due sense of responsibility and would not be suggestive of youth suicide to impressionable young
On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 4.5 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
We noted Prada's comments that the photo was shot on an abandoned railway
track and that Hailee Steinfeld was not in any way constrained to that position, and that the viewpoint of the ad extended along the railway track where there was clearly no train in sight. We noted that she could have easily moved from where she was
sitting, that she was not running along the track, and she was not playing on it. We acknowledged that the ad was part of a serious, high fashion campaign aimed at adult women; and that it was placed only in adult, high fashion magazines such as Tatler,
which was not aimed or addressed at children. Nevertheless, because the ad showed Hailee Steinfeld, who was 14 years of age only when the photo was shot, in a potentially hazardous situation sitting on a railway track, we concluded the ad was
irresponsible and in breach of the Code in showing a child in a hazardous or dangerous situation.
The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social Responsibility), 4.5 (Harm and Offence) and 5.1.2 (children).
|23rd November |
Addles the mind of advert censors and makes them see sexualisation wherever they look
See article from
A poster for Lynx shower gel, in July 2011, featured a picture of a young woman standing beneath an outdoor shower on a beach. She wore bikini bottoms and clasped an undone bikini top against her breasts. Text on the right of the ad above a large picture
of a bottle of the product stated THE CLEANER YOU ARE THE DIRTIER YOU GET . Text at the bottom of the ad stated VISIT FACEBOOK.COM/LYNXEFFECT AND GET DIRTY THIS SUMMER . Issue
The ASA received 113 complaints:
97 complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive because it was sexually suggestive, provocative, indecent, glamorised casual sex, and because it objectified and was demeaning to women;
complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it was inappropriate for public display, where it could be seen by children; and
12 complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it promoted
Unilever said the poster made use of the cheeky and humorous tone commonly used in Lynx advertising but did not believe the content was inappropriate. The image selected included nothing overtly sexual, suggestive or provocative and
was not indecent. They acknowledged that the woman's bikini top was undone and that she was holding it to her chest but argued that that tied in with the light-hearted tone without the resulting image being materially more revealing than if it were not
undone. The model was pictured on a beach, which linked to the TV ads, and she was not undressed to an extent that would be in any way unusual in that location. They had been careful to ensure that the model's expression, while reflecting the
light-hearted tone, was in no way unduly suggestive, provocative or indecent. They said the overall feel of the campaign, the poster and Lynx advertising over the years was cartoonish and believed that it was unlikely to be seen as objectifying or
demeaning to women or to cause serious or widespread offence on that basis.
Unilever said the strapline THE CLEANER YOU ARE THE DIRTIER YOU GET was intended as a playful innuendo and the key point stylistically was the use
of the word DIRTIER in contrast to being cleaner as a result of using the shower gel. They said the strapline was not intended to convey any particular message about sex or sexual relationships in the real world and did not believe that it would
be understood to do so.
The ASA previously considered two TV ads from the same campaign which featured a group of women in bikinis at a beach mimicking the behaviour of a man taking a
shower, and which also featured the statement The cleaner you are, the dirtier you get in the voice-over and on screen. We had concluded that those ads did not warrant investigation. However, that decision was in part due to both ads having been
given timing restrictions by Clearcast so that they could not be broadcast before 7.30pm and 9.30pm respectively and could not be shown during, or adjacent to, programmes likely to appeal strongly to children. Although we considered that those TV ads
were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence we considered that the poster, an untargeted medium likely to be seen by a wide variety of audiences and age groups, needed to be considered on its own merits and outside the context of the wider
We noted that the poster featured a woman standing under a beach shower wearing bikini bottoms and holding a bikini top against her breasts. While we considered that the poster was not
graphic or indecent we noted that the woman's bikini top was undone and that the ad also included the statement THE CLEANER YOU ARE THE DIRTIER YOU GET . We considered that that statement, particularly placed next to a picture of a woman with an
unfastened bikini top and reinforced by the statement GET DIRTY THIS SUMMER at the bottom of the poster, was clearly intended to imply that using the advertised product would lead to more uninhibited sexual behaviour. We therefore considered that
the poster would be seen to make a link between purchasing the product and sex with women and in so doing would be seen to objectify women.
We also considered that the combination of the image and the suggestive text, in a poster
on public display, was likely to be considered offensive by many members of the public, particularly those who were accompanied by children. We concluded that the poster was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
point the poster breached CAP rules 4.1 (Harm and Offence).
We noted that efforts had been made by Clear Channel to limit the locations in which the poster was displayed. Nonetheless, we noted
that some of the complainants reported that they had seen the poster near schools and on their way to school.
For the reasons given in point 1 above, we considered that the image and the text were likely to be considered offensive
and we were also concerned that a number of the complainants had had the ad pointed out to them by their young children or been asked by them to explain the meaning of the text. We considered that the suggestive nature of the image and the strong
innuendo were not acceptable for public display where they might be seen by children and concluded that the poster was irresponsible on this point.
On this point the poster breached CAP rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).
3. Not upheld
We noted that 12 complainants were concerned that the image in the poster, and particularly the text were irresponsible because they encouraged promiscuity. We noted that many of those
complainants had raised concerns about societal attitudes to casual sex, the prevalence of unwanted and underage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. While we took those concerns seriously, we noted that the poster did not feature a sex scene
or refer to or suggest that unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners was desirable, or should be sought out. We concluded that the poster was not irresponsible on this point.
On this point we investigated the poster under CAP
rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.
|23rd November |
ASA turned on by a glimpse of thigh and ban Oh Lola! perfume advert
9th November 2011. See article
A magazine ad for Oh, Lola! perfume which appeared on 5 August 2011, showed the actress and model Dakota Fanning, sitting on the floor, alone, wearing a pale coloured thigh length dress. She used one arm to support herself as she leaned backwards
and in the other hand she held an oversized bottle of the perfume, which rested in her lap. The bottle was shaped like a vase holding a flower in bloom. Issue
Four readers challenged whether the ad was offensive and irresponsible as it portrayed
the young model in a sexualised manner.
Coty UK said that they had not received any complaints about the ad. They did not believe the styling in the ad suggested the model was underage or that the ad was inappropriately sexualised because it did
not show any private body parts or sexual activity. They believed the giant perfume bottle was provoking but not indecent.
Sunday Times Style magazine had not received any complaints. They did not believe that the ad was so sexually suggestive
that it breached the Code. They said their publication was marketed to adults with an interest in cutting edge fashion and that any sexual connotations that may have been associated with the ad would be reduced because of that target audience.
ASA Decision: Complaints upheld
The ASA understood that the ad had appeared in publications with a target readership of those over 25 years of age. We noted that the model was wearing a thigh length soft pink, polka dot dress
and that part of her right thigh was visible. We noted that the model was holding up the perfume bottle which rested in her lap between her legs and we considered that its position was sexually provocative. We understood the model was 17 years old but we
considered she looked under the age of 16. We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality. Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise
a child. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious offence.
The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).
Update: No pandering to
sexualisation nutters in Australia
23rd November 2011. See article from
The Australian Advertising Standards Bureau has rejected five complaints about an ad for Marc Jacobs's Oh, Lola! perfume, which features young actress Dakota Fanning (pictured) and references the novel Lolita, the story of a middle-aged man's sexual
relationship with a young girl.
Despite the ad being banned in the UK for sexualisation of children, the board found the ad to be acceptable because Ms Fanning was 17. The board found the ad was not an image that sexualises young women .
|19th November |
Vatican complains about Benetton advert showing the pope kissing top Egyptian imam
17th November 2011. See
article from cbsnews.com
The Benetton clothing company has withdrawn a website advert featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips after the Vatican denounced it as an unacceptable provocation.
Benetton had said its Unhate campaign was aimed
at fostering tolerance and global love. The campaign's fake photos feature a half-dozen purported political nemeses in lip-locked embraces, including President Barack Obama and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
The photo of the pope kissing Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of Cairo's al-Azhar institute, the pre-eminent theological school of Sunni Islam,
had been on Benetton's website all day but was pulled about an hour after the Vatican's protest.
Al-Azhar suspended interfaith talks with the Vatican earlier this year after Benedict called for greater protections for Egypt's minority Coptic
Update: Whatever happened to the christian code: 'turn the other cheek'?
19th November 2011. See
The Vatican has threatened legal action against Italian clothing company Benetton for its use of a doctored photograph in which Pope Benedict XVI appears to be kissing a top Muslim imam on the mouth.
The Secretariat of
State has instructed its lawyers to take on, in Italy and abroad, the appropriate action to prevent the circulation, including through the mass media, a photomontage created as part of the Benetton advertising campaign, the Vatican said in a statement.
The ad was damaging to not only to dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers.
|17th November |
Advert censor bans bikini adverts featuring slim model
12th November 2011. See
article from asa.org.uk
A website ad on www.iheartdropdead.com, for an online clothing retailer, Drop Dead Clothing , featured a model in a number of images, including in bikinis and denim shorts.
A complainant objected that the ad was
irresponsible and offensive, because they believed the model was underweight and looked anorexic.
Drop Dead Clothing Ltd said the model was a standard size eight, as defined by the British Standard BS EN 13402, and wore an
unadjusted size eight bikini in the ad. They said while many people in the UK may find a size eight too slim, a size eight was a normal UK clothing size and it would be unreasonable to consider a size eight model offensive. They said size eight was their
most popular size.
Drop Dead provided the model's measurements and said that she might not have any fat around her ribs, but she had a bust, hips and healthy skin. They said the makeup used in one of the images may have given her
the appearance of dark sunken eyes and a stretched pose may have made her torso look slimmer. They also supplied other photos of the model, which they said showed she was not emaciated and was perfectly healthy.
The ASA considered that the model was very slim, and noted that in the bikini images her hip, rib and collar bones were highly visible. We also noted that in the bikini and denim shorts images, hollows in her
thighs were noticeable and she had prominent thigh bones. We considered that in combination with the stretched out pose and heavy eye makeup, the model looked underweight in the pictures.
We noted that Drop Dead's target market
was young people. We considered that using a noticeably skinny model with visible hip, rib, collar and thigh bones, who wore heavy makeup and was posed in ways that made her body appear thinner, was likely to impress upon that audience that the images
were representative of the people who might wear Drop Dead's clothing, and as being something to aspire to. Therefore, while we considered the bikini and denim short images might not cause widespread or serious offence, we concluded they were socially
The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) but not 4.1 (Harm and Offence).
Update: MP with a thinking disorder supports ASA ban of perfectly healthy slim model
17th November 2011. See
article from eveningtimes.co.uk
East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson, who co-founded the Campaign For Body Confidence says she is glad the Advertising Standards Authority has acted over the online images of Amanda Hendrick in a Drop Dead clothing advert.
While Amanda is clearly a very beautiful young model, in this advert she is posed in such a way that emphasises her petite frame and makes her bones clearly visible.
Glamorising ultra-thin bodies in
fashion ads can have a really damaging effect -- particularly on those at risk or recovering from eating disorders, so I'm glad the Advertising Standards Authority has taken action..
Drop Dead Clothing maintain Amanda is healthy and
is not anorexic.
|16th November |
ASA clear job advert for Troll Hunter in which 'christians need not apply'
article from asa.org.uk
A teaser ad for the movie Troll Hunter , published in the job section of the Guardian , on 6 August 2011. The ad was headed TROLL HUNTERS REQUIRED . Text underneath stated APPLICANTS MUST HAVE EXPERIENCE OF HUNTING LARGE GAME,
MUST BE COMFORTABLE WORKING INDEPENDENTLY AND AT NIGHT. TROLLS CAN SMELL GOD-FEARING BLOOD - CHRISTIANS NEED NOT APPLY. COMPETITIVE SALARY ON COMMISSION. LIFE INSURANCE AND COMPANY LANDROVER INCLUDED. APPLY NOW. VISIT [WEBSITE] . Small text at the
bottom of the ad stated (c) Troll Security Service (TSS 2011) .
Two complainants challenged whether the claim Christians need not apply , was offensive to Christians.
One complainant also challenged whether the ad was misleading because it was not obviously
identifiable as an ad for a movie and appeared to be a job ad.
Momentum Pictures said that the ad was a teaser for an upcoming movie. They said it took the form of a job ad recruiting for the fictitious role of Troll Hunters and was very much in the spirit of the upcoming film. They said that
mythical stories about trolls told how they were able to smell Christian blood; a theme that featured in the film. They said that this theme was similar to that of the giant in the Jack and the Beanstalk tale who was able to smell English blood. They
said that the text TROLLS CAN SMELL GOD-FEARING BLOOD - CHRISTIANS NEED NOT APPLY was meant in a light-hearted way, within the spirit of fairy tale tradition. They said that the campaign was amended online to read Trolls can smell God fearing
blood, believers apply at their own risk , as a means of softening the message.
ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld
1. Not upheld
The ASA noted that the ad was intended to
resemble a fictitious job ad recruiting troll hunters. We noted that the theme that trolls could smell Christian blood was a popular one and that it also featured in the plot of the film.
Whilst we acknowledged that the text Trolls can smell God-fearing blood - Christians need not apply
might be distasteful to some, we considered that most readers were likely to interpret it as a light-hearted play on the fairy-tale theme of trolls being able to smell Christian blood. We therefore concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or
On this point we investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
We noted that the ad was intended to mimic the style of a recruitment ad and we considered that readers would quickly realise that it was not a genuine job ad. We noted that the text Christians need not apply was
preceded by Trolls can smell God-fearing blood . We considered that this helped identify the ad as a fantastical and fictional piece. We noted that the ad did not refer to a movie and that the website link in the ad had the word jobs in the
URL. Nevertheless we did not consider that the average reader would follow the link expecting to arrive at a jobs website. Because of this, we did not consider that the ad was materially misleading in not explicitly stating that it was promoting a movie.
On this point we investigated under CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) but did not find it in breach.
|12th November |
Misery guts whinge at fun filled nightclub flyer
Leaflets alluding to sexy fun have sparked a council probe and landed club promoters in hot water.
Flyers were circulated across Tyneside causing 'outrage' wherever they went.
Baring the suggestive image dedicated to oral pleasure the advert promotes a student night at the Riverside nightclub on Newcastle's Quayside.
But 'horrified' residents, Newcastle, complained to council chiefs, claiming the material was crass and inappropriate .
Stephen Savage, Newcastle City Council's director of regulatory services and public protection from fun, claimed:
The content of the flyer is appalling and suggests a significant flaw in management control. The city council is awaiting comment from the operator's lawyers before considering further action.
One local whinger said: It landed on my
doormat and my youngest child saw it. I think it's outrageous that this material was circulated -- it takes no consideration of the people who might pick it up, like elderly people or young children.
Last night Tarquin Van De Vaart, event
manager, defended the promotion and hit back at criticism. He said: We at Tequila see no problem with the flyer. It's up to the reader's interpretation as to how they view the flyer. Those with a crude mind may think the worst.
|11th November |
Advert censor bans Kopparberg cider advert claiming that the noise-pop club music appeals to under 18's
See article from
See video from youtube.com
A TV ad, on 29 June 2011, showed, in black and white, various people walking from the street down into an underground nightclub. Text projected on the exterior wall of the club stated FIND THE VENUE YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED , text above the
staircase into the club stated FIND THE DOOR YOU NEVER NOTICED . The ad then showed the dance floor of the club and various people dancing to music in slow motion amid flashing lights. Text projected on the wall of the club stated FIND THE
CROWD WHO THINK EVERY NIGHT IS FRIDAY NIGHT . Superimposed text at the bottom of the screen stated Enjoy Kopparberg Responsibly . The ad then cut to a colour product shot of three Kopparberg cider bottles turning towards the viewer. On-screen
text then stated PREMIUM CIDER KOPPARBERG FIND KOPPARBERG.COM . Issue
One viewer challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it was likely to appeal strongly to people under 18 years of age.
Cider of Sweden Ltd (COS) said all of the actors in the ad were aged 25 or over and that no one was seen drinking or holding a drink. They said the product itself did not appear until the end frame and was therefore disassociated with the nightclub scenes in the ad.
COS said the ad's target audience was over-25s. They said they had used photography featuring a gig with an undiscovered new band and had aimed the creative treatment squarely at an older, more mature audience. COS said the song
featured in the ad was by a band called Sleigh Bells who they had chosen because their age range and target audience were over 25.
Clearcast said the ad's message was about trying something different and being alternative. They
said the people featured were shown listening to great music and having a good time without the need for alcohol. They said they had made enquiries about the target audience of the band whose music featured in the ad and had received a CV from the band's
record company that had assured them that the band's target audience were aged over 25 years. They pointed out that the ASA had received only one complaint, and believed that the ad did not breach the Code.
The ASA noted that COS and Clearcast had argued that the people in the ad were not seen drinking and were not under 25, however we also noted that the BCAP Code required that TV alcohol ads must not be likely to
appeal strongly to people under 18, irrespective of the age of the actors or how, if or when the product itself was featured.
We noted that the ad showed people walking through a back alley at night before going down some stairs
into an underground venue where people were shown dancing in slow motion to a live band. We considered that that scenario was likely to be attractive to a range of viewers, but that a hidden venue where people were dancing to live music was likely to be
seen as particularly attractive by viewers under 18. We considered that that impression was reinforced by the statements projected on the walls outside and inside the venue and particularly the statement FIND THE CROWD WHO THINK EVERY NIGHT IS FRIDAY
NIGHT which we considered conveyed the message that viewers should seek out fun and excitement at every opportunity, and was likely to enhance the appeal of the scenario to an under 18 audience.
We noted that the music
featured was a song by an American noise-pop band called Sleigh Bells and we considered that the heavy baseline and distorted female vocals, were also likely to draw the attention of viewers under 18 and we were also concerned that the song itself was
called Kids . We noted that COS had argued that they had chosen the band specifically because their target audience were aged over 25 and we understood, from the Spotify and MySpace data that the band's primary audience were of around that age. We
noted however, particularly from the MySpace data, that the band did still have a following amongst under-18s, albeit a less extensive one, and therefore did still have an attraction for that age group.
We concluded that the
overall impression of the scenario and music combined was one that was likely to appeal strongly to people under 18 and was irresponsible.
The ad breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social Responsibility) and 19.15.1 (Rules that apply
to alcohol advertisements).
|10th November |
ASA reject complaints about HM TV fashion advert
article from asa.org.uk
A H&M TV ad in the series "Girls on Film" featured a female model wearing a jacket and high heels, striking different poses for the camera.
Nine complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive and harmful because they believed:
- the model looked unhealthily thin; and
- could give an unrealistic idea of a desirable body image to children and younger viewers.
- One complainant, who believed that the ad could cause unhealthy eating habits in vulnerable people, in
an attempt to look like the model shown, challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible.
Clearcast said the ad mostly showed the model's legs. They said, although her legs were long and slim, she did not look unhealthy or emaciated. They said it was clear that the ad promoted the attractiveness of the coat and its low price and did not
imply that viewers should attempt to look like the model.
ASA decision: complaints 1, 2 & 3 Not upheld
We welcomed H&M's assurance that they would take the complaints into consideration for their future
advertising campaigns. We acknowledged that the model was slim and wore a short coat and high heeled shoes, which emphasised the length and slimness of her legs. However, we considered the ad was typical of those used for fashion products and that the
model did not appear too thin for her frame, nor did she look unhealthy or emaciated. We noted the ad showed the model striking various poses in the coat and that on-screen text stated £ 24.99. We considered most
viewers, including young children and women, would interpret the ad as promoting the design and price of the coat, rather than a desirable body image. We also considered viewers were unlikely to interpret the ad as encouraging unhealthy eating habits in
vulnerable people, in an attempt to look like the model.
We considered that the ad was unlikely to be seen as irresponsible, or cause harm or serious or widespread offence. We concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.
the point under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence).
|7th November |
Australian advert censor has a whinge at Lynx advert taking a sexy look at the ruies of rugby
See article from
See video from
See Advertising Standards Bureau Decision
[pdf] from collectiveshout.org
New Australian nutters on the block, Collective Shout!, organised a whinge to the Australian advert censors of the Advertising Standards Bureau about an online Lynx advert having fun with the rules of rugby.
UK's Daily Mail had also spotted
the advert, and ran a piece fishing for 'outrage'.
Anyway the Advertising Standards Board upheld the complaints about the advert and explained:
The Video starts with the statement Lynx presents – Rules to the game
– Episode #1: Rugby . A narrator then reads out a number of rugby rules while these rules are played out by a group of young women dressed in sports briefs and short shirts in the national rugby colours of Australia and New Zealand. At the end
of the video we see the winning Australian team celebrating and the words Lynx Know your game appear. Voiceover: Go you good thing
I was grossly offended by this advertisement. The way in which these women are dressed and the way in which they are physical with one another is completely inappropriate for national television. Having up-close shots of women's
cleavage, butts and stomachs is incongruous with both rugby and male deodorant and is disrespectful to women.
This advertisement implies that women are nothing more than mere sex objects and that it is appropriate for men to
stare at their body parts without remorse. I believe that this ad has been grossly influenced by the pornography industry and the hidden hype surrounding girl on girl pornography. I find it offensive that this attitude and fantasy has been given
freedom to be shown on television.
The Video was posted on YouTube only Unilever has aired the Video exclusively on its Lynx YouTube channel. We have been careful to restrict the Video on our Lynx YouTube
channel to users over 18 by way of using the YouTube age verification function soon after launch. We can confirm that the Video has not been aired on TV as part of an advertising media buy.
Lynx is a brand with a history of fun,
tongue-in-cheek, playful advertising. Lynx also has a proud history of award winning commercials which both entertain and surprise its consumers. We submit that the Video continues this tradition of funny entertainment and that the intended young adult
male audience understands the playful and hyperbolic nature of the Video and its distinction between fact and fiction.
ASB Decision: Complaints Upheld
The Board first considered whether the
advertisement complied with Section 2.1 of the Code which requires that advertisements shall not portray or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity,
nationality, sex, age, sexual preference, religion, disability or political belief.
The Board noted that the advertisement features young women wearing sports briefs and short shirts demonstrating the rules of rugby but noted
that the women are not depicted on a sporting field. The Board considered that the advertisement is clearly shot to emphasise various physical attributes of the women – with lingering shots on the women's breasts, groins and bottoms.
The Board considered that the advertisement depicts the women as sexual objects and that the advertisement did breach Section 2.1 of the Code.
The Board then considered whether the advertisement complied with
Section 2.3 of the Code. Section 2.3 states: …shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and, where appropriate, the relevant programme time zone .
The Board noted that the
advertisement is posted on the Lynx YouTube channel and that to access the advertisement there a person must be over 18 years of age in order to view it. The Board noted that the advertisement has not been broadcast by the advertiser on television. The
Board noted also that the advertisement has been rebroadcast by a number of third parties and is easily able to be viewed on the internet without any age verification.
However the Board overall considered that the relevant
audience of the advertisement are Lynx consumers over the age of 18. The Board considered that the content of the advertisement is in keeping with the style of advertising synonymous with the Lynx brand and that the women in the advertisement are all
clothed. The majority of the Board considered that in light of the placement of the advertiser's placement of the advertisement in a restricted manner and the relevant audience the advertisement did treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the
relevant audience and that it did not breach Section 2.3 of the Code.
|6th November |
Jerusalem women fight back against the religious ban on women in advertising
See article from haaretz.com
Six women met in Jerusalem to be photographed so their pictures can be hung from balconies throughout the city to counteract what appears to be the attempt to keep women out of advertising in the capital.
A group that calls itself Yerushalmim (
Jerusalemites ) and focuses on issues of pluralism is behind the initiative.
The idea is to return the city space to its natural state and turn the appearance of women into something boring, that no one notices, one of the originators
of the idea, Rabbi Uri Ayalon, a Conservative rabbi who created a Facebook page called uncensored, through which the women signed up to be photographed.
The six volunteers met at the Jerusalem home of activist Shira Katz-Winkler. One of
them, Idit Karni, says: A minority can't take over the city and cause women and girls to disappear. I have four daughters, and I don't intend to leave them a city that has lost its sanity.
Another of the volunteers, Tzafira Stern-Asal who
is the director of a dance school, says she has had personal experience with the difficulty of putting women in advertising in the capital when trying to advertise her school. I finally had to limit myself to a shoe or some sort of fluttering
material, which certainly reduces the attraction of the ad, she says.
In the first phase of the project, 100 posters of the women will be hung throughout the city, focusing on the downtown area.
The women believe the problem lies with
advertisers, who self-censor out of fear of the ultra-Orthodox. Now we'll see the skies won't fall. I don't say it will pass quietly, but people will breathe easier when they see pictures of women returning to billboards.
|2nd November |
Chapsticks adverts gets people's arses up
See article from
The US lip balm brand ChapStick is in hot water over supposed 'outrage' at the sexually perceived nature of their latest print advertisement. The ad, which features a woman scrambling around a couch, is entitled WHERE DO LOST CHAPSTICKS GO? and
ran in print publications.
The conclusion by those that found this offensive, is that this advertisement is objectifying women by centering on the woman's backside. Apparently on online Facebook posting of the advert also had the filename Ass.jpg,
according to the site Redefine Girly.
After receiving backlash in the comments of the Facebook post, administrators of the Facebook page began to delete some of the messages, which brought on cries of censorship and irony . Ultimately,
ChapStick pulled the image off of their Facebook page and their website, later posting the following apology:
We see that not everyone likes our new ad, and please know that we certainly didn't mean to offend anyone!
Our fans and their voices are at the heart of our new advertising campaign, but we know we don't always get it right. We've removed the image and will share a newer ad with our fans soon!
|31st October |
South Africa's advert censor whinges at Axe (Lynx) advert suggesting that even angels will succumb to the allure
See article from
See video from youtube.com
South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has instructed a TV advert depicting angels falling from heaven because they are attracted to a man's deodorant, to be withdrawn, as it could offend Christians.
A viewer who complained to
the ASA about the advert said the suggestion that angels - God's messengers - would literally fall for a man wearing this deodorant was incompatible with his belief as a Christian, according to the rulin.
The advert for Axe deodorant depicts
winged, attractive women crashing to earth in what appears to be an Italian town, and then being drawn towards and sniffing a young man who has used the deodorant. The text at the end of the ad reads: Even angels will fall .
was concerned that the angels were depicted falling and, secondly, being attracted to a mortal man.
As such, the problem is not so much that angels are used in the commercial, but rather that the angels are seen to
forfeit, or perhaps forego their heavenly status for mortal desires. This is something that would likely offend Christians in the same manner as it offended the complainant.
|30th October |
Women noticeably absent from Jerusalem billboards and adverts
Based on article from haaretz.com
It appears that graphic artists and public relations professionals in Jerusalem have recently developed a fetish for shoes. A glance at billboards and posters pasted around the city shows that Jerusalem is draped in shoes.
In Jerusalem, a shoe
is not just a shoe, says Uri Ayalon, a Conservative rabbi who promotes religious pluralism, and who recently established an uncensored Facebook group that protests against the elimination of women from public spaces. Shoe images, he says, are
used to obscure the fact that in Jerusalem women are rarely pictured on public posters and billboards.
It takes time to grasp that something is missing in public spaces in Israel's capital. But once you notice it, it's hard to fathom how you
didn't pay attention to this fact earlier. It appears that in recent years, and in an escalated fashion in the past several months, women have disappeared from advertisements in Jerusalem.
This fact does not refer to scantily clad models, who were
purged from signs and posters in the city several years ago as a result of campaigns waged by the ultra-Orthodox - struggles that sometimes included the burning and destruction of billboards and bus stops. The purging of women from publicly displayed
pictures in Jerusalem applies to images of females in regular dress and daily situations. Pictures of women in family settings and advertisements of women using face cream or being connected to food or fashion products are hard to come by in this city.
Jerusalem municipality officials adamantly deny that there has been a change in the city's advertising policy, and they refer to several advertising campaigns that featured images of women. However, figures in the city's public relations industry
admit that women have been entirely removed from public billboards and pictorial advertisements.
It seems that this trend is being led by private advertisers who prefer to conceal women rather than deal with ultra-Orthodox anger. For instance, a
hamburger company that promoted its product around the country with a picture of happy family members choose in Jerusalem to show only images of its burgers. In Jerusalem, a campaign for regional radio stations dropped the image of radio presenter Ofira
Asayag, which was featured everywhere else in the country.
This becomes a process of self-censorship, explains Rabbi Ayalon. You decide in advance not to use a photograph of a female dancer, so that nobody sprays it. You decide not to
confront anything, and that's the position adopted by the advertisement agencies.
|29th October |
Australian advert censor clears Underbelly Razor billboard
A woman holding an old fashioned razor blade with what appears to be blood dripping from it is surrounded by three men who are crowded around her closely. Above the image it says, Underbelly Razor and below is the Channel 9 logo.
I don't think it is a suitable image/message for a public space as the TV show is rated M and yet children could see the billboard.
It is objectifying the woman and intentionally playing on the
rough sex notion.
While there is no sexual act being performed in the poster the woman doesn't look safe as the men look like they will take advantage of her.
I just think it is quite tasteless combining
the sexual nature of the billboard with the violent nature.
ASB Decsion: Complaints not upheld
The Board first considered whether the advertisement complied with Section 2.1 of the Code which requires that;
advertisements shall not portray or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, age, sexual preference,
religion, disability or political belief.
The Board noted the advertisement shows a woman holding a razor surrounded by three men. The Board noted the woman does not appear unhappy with the situation she is in, but rather she looks as
though she is empowered and in control. The Board noted that one of the men is kissing the woman's shoulder but considered that this does not depict the woman as a sexual object as it is clear that she is the person in control of the situation depicted
and the image does not amount to objectification of women. The Board determined that the advertisement did not breach Section 2.1 of the Code.
Section 2.2 of the Code requires that:
advertising or marketing
communications not use violence unless it is appropriate in the context of the advertised product or service.
The Board noted the advertisement is for a television program called Underbelly , a program known to contain violent
behaviour, and that the woman is holding a large razor blade dripping with what appears to be blood.
The Board noted that this advertisement was seen on a billboard and potentially it could be seen by children. The Board noted that the image was
relevant to the widely recognised television program it is advertising. The Board determined that images of razors are not of themselves prohibited and that in this advertisement the razors are not being used to threaten or injure a person and there is
more a suggestion of violence rather than an actual depiction.
The Board agreed that some people would find the image unpleasant and prefer not to see it but the Board determined that the image is relevant to the advertised product and not so
strong as to be inappropriate for general viewing.
The Board determined that the advertisement did not breach Section 2.2 of the Code as it does not depict or condone violence.
|28th October |
Miserable advert censor whinges at sexy women in advert for men's clothes
See article from
The Jack & Jones clothing retailer has been rapped by Sweden's miserable advertising censor for a supposedly sexist ad campaign which utilised scantily clad women to market a line of men's clothing.
The censor took up the case
following a few complaints who took issue with Jack & Jones for using scantily clad women who lacked any connection to the men's clothing products being marketed. Complainants argued the adverts amounted to offensive and objectifyingly sexist stereotypes of both men and women
. Others complained that the Jack & Jones campaign also discriminated against homosexuals because it only showed heterosexual situations.
In addition to in-store posters, the campaign features a commercial in which a woman in a jogging
suit warns, The new spring collection from Jack & Jones has turned out to have some unfortunate side effects that we didn't anticipate. The ad then cuts to a scene in which a man is lying passed out on a bed surrounded by three women dressed
in bras and panties. In the next scene, a bare-chested man lying in bed is straddled by a blond woman in her underwear who appears to be trying to revive him before leaning down to blow on the man's crotch. The woman who appeared at the start of the
commercial reappears later wearing a bikini and performing aerobic exercises in which she urges viewers to join the company's get in shape and ready for action online fitness club .
The advert censor issued a unanimous ruling condemning the
Through their clothing and poses, the women are portrayed as pure sex objects and in a way that can be considered offensive to women in general.
In an overall assessment, the committee
finds that the advertisement can be considered offensive and that the conventions expressed in it give a stereotypical view of gender roles which is degrading to both women and men.
|27th October |
Australian advert censor clears bus advert for the video game Brink
An advertisement on the side of a bus featured a character from the game in an action pose with a gun and the relevant video game platform packshots that it was available on.
A complainant said:
I do not
think this sort of picture should be displayed publicly on buses (or anywhere else for that matter). Young children see these pictures and it could scare them. I was also offended by how large the advertisement was and found it quite affronting. I do not
believe society should condone these sorts of images by advertising them in such an open way.
The mask that the man in the ad is wearing is particularly disturbing and his pose is also threatening. The fact that he is carrying a
machine gun only adds to the impact. I believe that an ad like this should not be shown where young children can be exposed to it.
ASB Decsion: Complaint not upheld
The Advertising Standards Board noted that
the advertisement is clearly for a computer game and the depiction of violence is permitted by the Code if appropriate in the context of the product advertised .
The Board considered that the image of a person holding a gun is relevant to
the game. The Board determined that images of guns are not of themselves prohibited and that in this advertisement the gun is not pointed at a person and there is more a suggestion of violence rather than an actual depiction.
The Board determined
that the image is not an inappropriate image. The Board determined that the advertisement did not breach Section 2.2 of the Code as it does not depict or condone violence.
|26th October |
Australian advert censor clears hand gestures in Friends with Benefits film poster
The outdoor billboard features Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake for the release of the film „ Friends With Benefits in cinemas. Mila is making the okay sign with her thumb and forefinger, and Justin is pointing at the okay sign.
sample of comments which the complainant/s made regarding this advertisement included the following:
The advertisement includes an obscene gesture for sexual intercourse.
This looks like a crude gesture for sex which I believe is inappropriate in a public ad. The way the actors are holding their hands
is a well-known mime for a sex act. I find this crude vulgar and inappropriate for mass advertising.
I take offence from the crude and sexual nature of this ad. The finger signs being made by Justin and Mila are a rude and
belittling symbol for sex. If I were to make such a symbol at work or amongst my social group it would certainly be seen as a dirty and uncouth thing to do.
I believe this poster breaches clause 2.3 of the code of
ethics as it does not treat sex with in a sensitive manner. I have seen this poster in numerous locations around Melbourne. In particular it is displayed in a bus stop that attracts large groups of school children. I'm sure if these kids went home and
made these gestures in font of their parents they were not be received well. I believe it is inappropriate to encourage and promote such insensitive gestures in public.
ASB Decsion: Complaint not upheld
The Board considered whether the advertisements were in breach of Section 2.3 of the Code:
Advertising or Marketing Communications shall treat sex,
sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and, where appropriate, the relevant programme time zone.
The Board considered that the hand gestures on their own are not in themselves offensive gestures, however, the
Board noted that most members of the broad adult audience would recognise the intended double entendre and suggestive sexual nature of the two gestures together. The Board noted there is a level of community concern about the sexualisation of children
and acknowledged the placement of the advertisement meant that the relevant audience was very broad and could include children. The Board considered that most young children would not recognize or be familiar with the sexual connotations associated with
the gesture, the concept, or with the content of the movie.
The Board acknowledged that some members of the community might be offended by the advertisement but considered that the image is only mildly sexualised and is not offensive or
The Board determined that the advertisement did treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and did not breach Section 2.3 of the Code.
|19th October |
ASA whinges at Duke Nukem Forever advert featuring pixellated cartoon strippers
article from asa.org.uk
A TV ad, for the computer game Duke Nukem Forever , seen in June 2011, featured animated scenes which included naked women pole dancing in a strip club and a full frontal view of a woman wearing only thong-style pants. Pixilation obscured the
women's bottoms and nipples. It also showed two girls in the club, who were dressed in school uniform and had their hair in bunches, and were about to kiss. Those scenes were intercut with quickly edited scenes of action, including aircraft firing
weapons over a blazing city, a character being punched and a robot marching through a street. Issue
Thirty-four viewers, who saw the ad after 9pm, challenged whether it was offensive and irresponsible, because it was sexist, violent and overly
explicit and included imagery which was likely to harm children and vulnerable people.
Take Two said that Duke Nukem Forever was a cartoonish, over-the-top, humorous take on the first person shooter videogame genre and deliberately distanced
itself from the ultra realistic, graphic modern war games that dominated the field. They said any sexual content and violence was presented in an exaggerated, non-realistic way, by animated characters, in an attempt to send up the main protagonist Duke
Nukem, who could be seen as something of a 1980s, muscle-bound, ultra-macho figure of fun. They said that all content was actual game footage and the game had been rated 18 by the BBFC.
They did not believe the ad contained any content that would
cause the type of harm referred to under the Code, nor content that would cause serious offence. They said the content was clearly fictional and the ad used computer-generated characters from the game's storyline and from game play. They felt that the
combat scenes were no more violent than viewers would expect, or those from action films broadcast at that time.
Clearcast acknowledged that the ad contained sexual imagery and violent images but felt the content was of a level similar to that
approved for other video games, film trailers and similar ads. They felt the violent scenes were relatively restrained and were no worse than many others in that category. They believed the post-9pm timing restriction was appropriate given the content
and felt it would keep the ad away from most young viewers.
ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld
Although we understood that neither the game nor the ad would appeal to all tastes, we noted the scenes were representative of the game's content and did not consider that the violent imagery was overly graphic for broadcast after 9pm. We therefore
considered that the scenes featuring action and violence were not at a level likely to distress or cause harm to children or vulnerable people.
We noted that the ad also contained several scenes in a strip club, featuring women who appeared naked,
or nearly naked, pole dancing and gyrating. We noted that some pixilation obscured the women's bottoms and nipples, but nonetheless considered that the presentation of the women's naked bodies and their very sexual movements and gyrations were overly
sexually explicit for an ad with a post-9pm scheduling restriction. We also noted that the ad featured two girls in school kilts and bunches about to kiss, and considered that, in the context of other scenes with sexual content, the ad appeared to link
teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour.
On that basis, although we did not consider that the images of violence were likely to distress or cause harm to children or vulnerable people and although we did not consider that the portrayal
of the women in the ad was overtly sexist, because we considered that the sexual imagery and content in the strip club scenes were overly explicit for broadcast at that time, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause serious or
widespread offence when broadcast before 11pm.
The ad breached BCAP Code Rules 1.2 (Responsible advertising), 4.1, 4.2 and 4.9 (Harm and offence).
|19th October |
Irish child abuse advert banned by advert censors pandering to a particularly nonsensical piece of political correctness
See article from
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children created a moving and brutal advertisement intended for television as its summer campaign, which features a small boy proclaiming his hopes for a future free from violence while being
beaten by a man who is presumably his father.
After drawing some early criticism for being too traumatic for television, the video was ultimately banned in Ireland for an unrelated reason. Namely, the Irish advertising Standards Authority ( IASA
) received 13 complaints that the advertisement is sexist because a man is doing the beating rather than a woman. The IASA agreed, deciding that in the absence of reliable statistics on whether men or women are mostly at fault for violence
against children, the ad is too sexist to stay on the air.
|16th October |
New ASA advertising guidelines would make Saudi Arabia proud
9th October 2011. See
article from asa.org.uk
ASA statement on sexual imagery in outdoor advertising [pdf] from
Miserable new advertising rules have been revealed to further restrict public billboard adverts.
Some sexy advertising hoardings will be banned from public display altogether, while any put up within 100 yards of schools will have to pass even
stricter new codes designed to remove supposedly sexualised imagery.
The move means clothing and perfume companies particularly face further restrictions on how they promote their products in the new guidelines from the Advertising Standards
The move comes ahead of a Downing Street summit this week between David Cameron and sexualisation campaigners. Banning sexy billboard adverts near schools was one of a number of recommendations made in May this year following a
Government-commissioned review by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union.
Billboards will still be allowed to carry posters of models wearing bikinis, they will not be allowed to show them in poses that are deemed to be sexually
suggestive. This will cover everything from images of stockings and suspenders to poses where the legs are parted or even hands are placed on hips.
Posters which show sexually suggestive pictures will be subject to placement restriction
, and the guidelines warn this could include images where a couple are fully clothed, but in a passionate clinch . Overtly sexual images will not be acceptable for any use in public. This could include ads which draw undue attention
to body parts, such as breasts or buttocks, in a sexual way , the ASA warns.
Bailey, claimed the move was a crucial step in trying to reduce children's exposure to indecent images and curbing the rise in consumerism:
Now more than ever we need to look at ourselves as a society and at all the things that give value to our lives. What we are seeing is that companies are concentrating their energies on working together to change industry practices
and ultimately create a more family friendly society. I hope this is the start of getting children to see themselves as rounded human beings rather than just as consumers.
A spokesman for the Advertising Association said:
All advertising has to take account of what society thinks is decent. We're giving the recommendations our full support.
Update: UK ASA now more prudish than South
16th October 2011. See article from bizcommunity.com
Commenting on the ASA UK statement, Gail Schimmel, director of Clear Copy, a South African marketing regulation advisory service, said:
The South African ASA has been fairly permissive in the imagery that it
allows on outdoor advertising. It will be interesting to see if a change in the international approach has any effect on how the local ASA considers these matters.
She adds that certain images identified by the UK ASA as unacceptable
are images that the South African ASA would allow. I would be sorry to see a move towards an overly conservative approach, but we also have to remain in touch with the acceptable norms of the rest of the world.
|14th October |
New ASA advertising guidelines banning anything sexy for outdoor adverts
statement on sexual imagery in outdoor advertising [pdf] from asa.org.uk
Advertising censors at the ASA have provided examples of new rules to pander to those blaming all of society's ills on sexy images in the media.
Suitable for all outdoor locations.
Images that are not sexual, or no more than mildly sexual
Example. The model is wearing a bikini and holding a pose which is unlikely to be considered to be sexually suggestive. Images
in outdoor ads similar to these are likely to remain acceptable on the basis that they are no more than mildly sexual.
Suitable for outdoor locations but not near schools
Images that are sexually
The woman is shown with her legs astride, drawing attention to her groin area.
Such images in ads might be acceptable in some locations but are likely to require a placement restriction, preventing them from being placed in
locations of particular relevance to children.
Unacceptable for outdoor advertising
Overtly sexual images
Some advertisements may not be suitable for general outdoor display, irrespective of a placement restriction. The woman in lingerie pulls down the side of her
knickers and bra strap in an overtly sexual and seductive way.
Advertisers should be particularly cautious about the imagery they use to advertise gentlemen's clubs or sex shops because the ASA consider that the public responds differently to
those images in light of the product or service offered rather than the content of the advert.
The ASA also list some of the characteristics that may be sexually suggestive or overtly sexual:
- Poses suggestive of a sexual position: the parting of the legs, accentuation of the hip etc.
- Amorous or sexually passionate facial expressions
- Exposure of breasts, including partial
- Poses such as hands on the hips, gripping
of hair in conjunction with a sexually suggestive facial expression
- Images of touching oneself in a sexual manner, such as stroking the legs or holding/gripping the breasts
- Suggestion in facial or bodily expression of an orgasm
Images of suggestive undressing, such as pulling down a bra strap or knickers
- Ads which draw undue attention to body parts, such as breasts or buttocks, in a sexual way
- Ads which show people in poses emulating a sexual position or
alluding to sexual activity
- Overtly sexual lingerie such as stockings, suspenders or paraphernalia such as whips and chains.
|12th October |
Condom bus shelter advert causes easy offence over its proximity to an Australian catholic school
See article from
Proximity to schools has become a fashionable 'justification' for easy offence. Not just in Britain, but in Australia too.
A bus shelter ad showing a kissing couple next to a packet of condoms is causing nutter controversy in Brisbane, supposedly
due to its proximity to a Catholic primary school. Some reports said that couple in the ad appeared to be naked, with clothes painted on.
Australian Christian Lobby's Wendy Francis claimed the new poster was sexually offensive and contained no
positive message about safe sex, deeming its placement across the street from the school as inappropriate.
The ACL Queensland branch director said members of the school community were 'distressed' by the poster, and that AdShel had promised to
remove the poster within an hour of receiving her complaint. Francis said:
she was totally opposed to this pathetic advertising.
I cannot see why you would place this ad outside a Catholic
primary school, where school children catch their bus from, she said.
I object to the highly sexual imagery in the ad, and the poster's message, 'zero or nothing', it's pathetic, it doesn't even have safe-sex message, and all it
does is show that money matters more than our children.
|6th October |
The ever more ludicrous ASA get easily offended by model hiding her breasts with cameras
article from asa.org.uk
An ad in Amateur Photographer magazine for the specialist multimedia insurer Aaduki, in July 2011, was headlined Confused and don't know where to look? . Underneath was a picture of a woman wearing only men's boxer briefs and holding a
D-SLR camera to each breast.
A complainant, who believed the ad was sexist and degrading to women, challenged whether the ad was offensive.
Versatile Insurance Professionals Ltd said Aaduki were well known
in the photographic market for the Aaduki Boys , a group of male models used to advertise the brand at exhibitions and conventions and who also featured heavily in their marketing campaigns. They said they had run a series of ads across the
specialist photographic press featuring the male models in their trademark blue shorts, which were designed to amuse the reader with tongue in cheek innuendo much like the Carry On films from the 1970s. Versatile provided copies of the ads in the
series, which they believed were suggestive and naughty without being obscene.
Versatile said the idea behind the Confused and don't know where to look ad? was that they now had a girl wearing the blue shorts instead of a
boy, and aimed to engage the male photographer that did not normally find their ads attractive. Versatile said they did not believe the ad was sexist or degrading to women, and pointed out that many photographic magazines featured female models, some of
whom would be completely naked and a large number of whom would be topless.
The ASA considered that the image of the woman wearing only boxer briefs and holding a D-SLR camera to each breast
was provocative. We noted that the ad was for multimedia insurance, and that the image bore no relation to the advertised service. We considered that the image was likely to be seen to degrade women by linking their physical attributes to that of the
cameras, and concluded that the ad had the potential to cause serious offence to some people.
The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).
|3rd October |
Brazilian government whinges at lingerie advert
See article from
See video from
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen's latest project, a lingerie campaign for the Brazilian label Hope, has 'appalled' government officials in her homeland and led to calls for the sexist and stereotyped adverts to be axed.
includes several TV adverts, one of which features a bikini-clad Bundchen, trying to appease her husband after committing a series of marital blunders: crashing his car, maxing his credit card and, worst of all, inviting her mother-in-law to stay.
Bundchen's solution isto seduce her furious husband, using the Hope's new underwear line. The advert's voiceover tells viewers: You're a Brazilian woman, use your charm .
Government officials from the women's secretariat in Brasilia have
demanded that it be banned from TV saying:
The campaign promotes the misguided stereotype of a woman as a sexual object of her husband and ignores the major advances we have achieved in deconstructing sexist
practices and thinking.
Officials said they had received at least SIX complaints from 'outraged' viewers.