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  Wash your mouth out with (Dove) soap...

Unilever boss lays into Facebook and Google saying algorithms do not produce a squeaky clean enough environment for the Unilever brand

Link Here 17th February 2018
lynx scrum
  Lynx advert from Unilever

Since their ascendance in the 2000s, Google and Facebook have largely defined how ads and other corporate content would appear, where they would flow, and the metrics of online advertising success.

On Monday, one top advertiser, Unilever, went public with its criticism, calling social media little better than a swamp and threatening to pull ads from platforms that leave children unprotected, create social division, or promote anger or hate. That comes a year after Procter & Gamble adjusted its own ad strategy, voicing similar concerns. ,

Keith Weed, Unilever's chief marketing and communications officer, said in a speech Monday to internet advertisers.

Fake news, racism, sexism, terrorists spreading messages of hate, toxic content directed at children -- parts of the internet we have ended up with is a million miles from where we thought it would take us. This is a deep and systematic issue -- an issue of trust that fundamentally threatens to undermine the relationship between consumers and brands.

Jason Kint, chief executive of Digital Content Next, a trade group that represents many big entertainment and news organizations added:

The technology, it appears, is actually allowing bad actors to amplify misinformation and garbage while at the same time squeezing out the economics of the companies that are actually accountable to consumer trust.

Update: Center Parcs outraged at the Daily Mail for its advert placement

17th February 2018. See  article from

Center Parcs has announced it has stopped advertising in the Daily Mail. It took the decision after its advert appeared in an online article by columnist Richard Littlejohn that criticised diver Tom Daley and his husband David Lance Black, who are expecting a child . Littlejohn claimed children benefit most from being raised by a man and a woman.

Center Parcs was responding to a complaint from a person who tweeted:

My son so wants me to book at your parks, but how can I do that if you support homophobia?

Center Parcs responded:

We take where we advertise very seriously and have a number of steps to prevent our advertising from appearing alongside inappropriate content. We felt this placement was completely unacceptable and therefore ceased advertising with the Daily Mail with immediate effect.


  Stockholm goes shariah...

City council is set to ban anything sexy from outdoor advertising

Link Here 8th February 2018  full story: Sexist Advertising in Sweden...Sweden considers banning sexist advertising

stockholm council logoStockholm council is set to ban sexy outdoor advertising. Daniel Hellden, one of Stockholm's deputy mayors and a long-serving Green Party activist with a political and personal mission to:

Make sure women aren't made to feel uncomfortable by explicit or gender stereotyped advertising in public spaces. I know my daughters, they don't like it. They feel bad. We should not as a city be part of this sort of advertising. I have a responsibility to the citizens of Stockholm to ban this.

Hellden notes that  record immigration to the Swedish capital has fuelled a wider awareness of stereotyping and a need to avoid racist undertones in public spaces.

His efforts to stamp out discriminatory billboards, digital displays or information boards will come to a head later this month, when the City Council is expected to approve a ban on racist and sexist advertisements.

The censorship rules about what constitutes a sexist or racist advertisements will follow those set out by the country's very politically correct nationwide advertising censor, Reklamombudsmannen (RO). But whereas RO cannot issue sanctions to companies in breach of the guidelines, Stockholm's council will be able to order them to take down offensive billboards within 24 hours.

Inevitably the move has supporters and critics. The Swedish Women's Lobby recently labelled Sweden the worst in the Nordics when it comes to gender images, due to being the only country in the region lacking legislation against sexism and stereotyping in advertising.

But Stockholm's plans to try and step up efforts against discrimination have come under fire from The Association of Swedish Advertisers, which represents agencies and marketing professionals. Its chief executive, Anders Ericson, argues that despite complaints from what he describes as a really strong group of feminists, Sweden is already doing a really terrific job in self-regulation. He fears a ban will increase red tape and curb freedom of expression. 


  Widespread likes in the tens of thousands vs the widespread offence of 85...

Advert censor takes a cheap shot at a humorous Poundland advertising campaign

Link Here 7th February 2018
poundland pokerA series of posts on Poundland's Twitter and Facebook page, promoting the #ElfBehavingBad campaign, seen in December 2017:
  • a. An ad, posted on 11 December, featured an image of a toy elf and a bottle of De-Icer placed in front of a car windscreen which featured a drawing of a pair of breasts. The caption stated, Oh Elf, we know it's nippy outside but not that kind of nippy! #ElfBehavingBad.
  • b. An ad, posted on 12 December, featured an image of the toy elf in a sink filled with bubbles sitting with two female dolls, taking a selfie. The caption stated Rub-a-dub-dub, three in a tub. A night of 'Selfies and chill'. #ElfBehavingBad.
  • c. An ad, posted on 13 December, featured a moving graphic of the toy elf with a toothbrush placed between its legs whilst motioning back and forth. The caption stated, That's one way to scratch that itch. That's not Santa's toothbrush is it?!.
  • d. A tweet, posted on 15 December, featured an image of the toy elf holding a spherical shaped object and a Darth Vader toy holding a lightsaber. The caption stated, Buzz off Darth, my lightsaber is bigger than yours.
  • e. An ad, posted on 16 December, featured an image of the toy elf sitting on a toy donkey's back with the caption, Don't tell Rudolph I've found a new piece of ass.
  • f. An ad, posted on 18 December featured an image of the toy elf next to a drawing of a phallic-shaped tree with the caption, That's one very prickly Christmas tree.
  • g. An ad, posted on 19 December featured an image of the toy elf wearing a dark moustache holding an arrow that pointed towards it, which featured the text FREE moustache rides. The caption stated First come, first served.
  • h. An ad, posted on 20 December featured an image of a toy elf playing a game of cards with three unclothed dolls. The caption stated Joker, joker. I really want to poker.
  • i. An ad, posted on 21 December featured an image of the toy elf holding a tea bag between its legs with a female doll lying beneath it.

85 complainants challenged whether:

  1. The ads were offensive for their depiction of toy characters and other items which had been displayed in a sexualised manner; and
  2. The ads were unsuitable to be displayed in an untargeted medium where children could see them.Response

Poundland Ltd stated that their elf campaign was based on humour and double entendres.

They explained that while the nature of a double entendre was that they would not be understood by children. They also stated Twitter and Facebook had policies which prevented under-13s from creating accounts on their websites and Poundland had never sought to encourage anyone other than adults to follow Poundland on these social networks.

They provided an appendix, which contained highlights of comments they had received in support of the campaign and referenced results from a poll conducted on Twitter where 82% of a sample audience containing over 12,000 responders supported the campaign. The results were almost equally split between men and women. They provided information on the volume of interactions they had during the campaign, which included 33 million impressions in total, 4 million engagements -- including reactions, comments, retweets, shares and replies -- as well as 43,000 new followers with the most significant peak on the 21 December, when the campaign went viral. They stated a large number of people found the campaign to be humorous, engaging, and in line with what it meant to be British.

They stated they did not intend to offend anyone.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA understood the campaign was based on a toy elf, which resembled the popular children's Christmas tradition known as Elf on the Shelf, from the book of the same name. The elf was depicted in various scenarios where he was shown to be behaving in a mischievous manner, with some images captioned with the hashtag #ElfBehavingBad. The overall campaign was based around puns and double entendres, which included sexual references.

Poundland's Facebook and Twitter pages were not age-gated and could therefore be seen by anyone. Although we did not consider they were likely to be of particular interest or appeal to children, we did not consider those who were already following the pages would expect to see sexual or offensive content. We also noted the ads had been shared widely on social media and therefore would have been seen by a large number of people, including some children, who did not actively follow Poundland on social media.

The image and caption in ad (a) depicting a pair of breasts drawn on a car windscreen and ad (f) which featured the elf beside a sketch of a penis-shaped tree were obvious sexual references that were shown to be drawn by the toy elf. We considered ad (c)'s depiction of the elf thrusting a toothbrush between its legs to be interpreted as a sexual act. Ad (d)'s inclusion of the caption, my lightsaber is bigger than yours and the elf waving a vibrator were also obvious references to sexual acts.

We considered ad (b), which depicted the elf and two unclothed female dolls placed in a sink filled with bubbles and the caption, A night of 'Selfies and chill, to be a play on the term Netflix and chill, which was a widely known term implying sexual activity. We also noted ad (g), which featured an image of the toy elf wearing a dark moustache with the text FREE moustache rides, was an implied reference to oral sex. We considered ad (e), which featured the toy elf placed on the toy donkey's back with the caption, Don't tell Rudolph I've found a new piece of ass, was a pun of a sexual nature.

We considered the depiction of a child's toy in relation to such sexual references and acts in a medium which could also be accessed by children was irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence, therefore breaching the Code.

We further noted ad (h), which featured a group of unclothed dolls playing what appeared to be strip poker captioned with the phrase I really want to poker, was a sexual reference aimed towards the female dolls. We also considered ad (i), which featured the elf holding a tea bag between its legs with a female doll lying beneath it, was also a reference to a sexual act. Both ads (h) and (i) presented the female dolls in a manner which could be seen as demeaning to women. We considered these ads were irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence by depicting a child's toy in relation to such sexual acts, therefore breaching the Code.

We therefore concluded the ads, which depicted the toy figures in a sexualised manner and appeared in an untargeted medium where they could be seen by children, were irresponsible and were likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Poundland Ltd to ensure that their advertising was presented with a sense of responsibility and did not cause serious or widespread offence.

Poundland Response

See article from

elfie repsonse From his cell at Wormwood Scrubbers, Poundland's naughty elf issued this statement in response to the Advertising Standards Authority...

Britain's the home of saucy postcards, carry on films and panto, so I'm sad the ASA found my double entendres hard to swallow.

At least it's only 84 people who had a sense of humour failure compared to the tens of thousands who got the joke and liked and shared my posts online.

I'm doing everything I can to be good so I can get out on good behaviour later this year.

Love, Elfie x


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