a. The poster, seen at bus stops and other locations during September 2019, featured the phrase WHAT THE CLUCK?! £1.99 FILL UP LUNCH alongside an image of food items on a menu.
b. The press ads seen in the Metro and the Sun also during September 2019 were the same as the poster except one featured the elongated word cluuuuuck.
1. All of the
complainants, who believed the word cluck had been substituted in place of an expletive, challenged whether ads (a) and (b) were offensive.
2. Many of the complainants also challenged whether ads (a) and (b) were appropriate for
display where they could be seen by children.
KFC said the word cluck was used as an onomatopoeic reference to the noise of a chicken, which was in context and wholly relevant to the deal,
the product featured and the brand.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA understood that the use of the word cluck was a reference to the sound a chicken made and that that was relevant to the
product being advertised. We also acknowledged that the ad did not contain the expletive fuck. We recognised that there were several variations of the what the expression, all commonly used to denote surprise or outrage, and not all of which finished
with an expletive. The chicken sound effect used to complete the expression in the radio and TV ads in the campaign did not therefore directly substitute for an expletive. However, the written word cluck was used in the poster and press ads and we
considered people would interpret that as alluding specifically to the expression, what the fuck. We did not consider that this connection would be removed because an elongated spelling of the word cluck was used in ad (b).
considered that fuck was a word so likely to offend that it should not generally be used or alluded to in advertising, regardless of whether the ad was featured in a newspaper which had an adult target audience. We also considered it likely that parents
may want their children to avoid the word, or obvious allusions to it. The poster was likely to be seen by people of all ages and while we recognised that the press ads would have a primarily adult audience, they could still be seen by children. For
those reasons we concluded that the allusion to the word fuck in ads with a general adult audience was likely to cause serious and widespread offence, and that it was irresponsible for them to appear where children could see them.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We KFC to avoid in future alluding to expletives that were so likely to offend.
Global consumer giants Kraft Heinz and Unilever have come under fire for advertising on the world's massively popular porno website, Pornhub.
Both companies launched huge advertising campaigns on Pornhub in the last year.
Unilever, which makes
Dove soap, Marmite and Hellmann's mayonnaise, ran a campaign for it's grooming company Dollar Shave Club which sends members razors in the post. It joked that Pornhub viewers won't need to visit the site so often if the use the advertiser's grooming
The company reportedly spends roughly £6billion a year on marketing and Dollar Shave Club's creative director, Matt Knapp, said the company chose to advertise on the porn site because it has guys backs'.
Yesterday Unilever vowed
it would never advertise on the site again after miserable PC campaigners questioned the company.
Meanwhile spokesman for Kraft Heinz played down the significance of its activity on Pornhub, but did not explicitly say it would not advertise on the
site again. He said:
The Devour frozen-food brand, which is only sold in the US, had a one-day promotion solely as part of the brand's Super Bowl activation. The brand was explicitly talking about #Foodporn, which has
become a cultural phenomenon on Instagram.
Pornhub has 110million daily visits and is the most popular pornography site in the UK. It is surely an attractive site for advertisers who are targeting campaigns toward men.
A marketing email from Boohoo, received on 15 July 2019, featured the subject heading Send Nudes. The body of the email contained a photo of a female model wearing a beige jacket with the words Send nudes. Set the tone with new season hues written across
A complainant challenged whether the reference to send nudes was socially irresponsible.
Boohoo.com UK Ltd said that their use of the word nude was solely to describe the colour resembling that
of the wearer's skin. They said they targeted their customers by sending them the latest fashion trends, including the trend for nude colours. They said that the word was widely used by other retailers in relation to apparel. The Boohoo brand targeted
any individual under 16 years of age.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA acknowledged that the term nude was commonly described to refer to colours that were similar to some people's skin tones. At
the same time, the phrase send nudes was likely to be understood as referring to requests for sexual photos, which could be a form of sexual harassment. We noted that increased pressure to share such photos had been linked to negative outcomes for young
people. Boohoo's target market was aged 16 to 24. We noted that the ad had only been sent to those who self-declared that they were over 18, but online age was often misreported, and we had not been provided with details of any further steps Boohoo had
taken to reduce the likelihood of under-18s being targeted with the ad. Given the general price point of Boohoo's clothing and the age of the target market, there was also likely to be some overlap with even younger teenagers who aspired to looks
associated with a slightly older age group. While the ad played on a well-known phrase to highlight a fashion trend, we considered the specific reference chosen had the effect of making light of a potentially harmful social trend. Furthermore, in the
subject heading of an email, without any further context, the phrase send nudes was likely to be disconcerting for some recipients, particularly those who might have personal experience of being asked to send nudes.
In the context
of an ad aimed at a relatively young audience who were more likely to be harmfully affected by pressure to share sexual images of themselves, we considered that the reference to send nudes was socially irresponsible and breached the Code.
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Boohoo.com UK Ltd to ensure their ads were socially responsible.