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26th September   

Unreal...

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Some French politicians want all public photos to be labelled as 'photoshopped'
Link Here  full story: Photoshopped Models...Campaigners to ban photoshopped adverts

Photoshop logo The French parliament has held its first hearing of a proposed law that would require every advertisement to display a disclaimer telling the public that images of people were manipulated. The goal is to help cut down on body issues in adolescents, and violating the law could be costly.

Lawmakers are concerned about the effect that Photoshopping has on people's body images. As a result, one such member of parliament, Valerie Boyer, has proposed a law that would require enhanced images to sport a warning, making it clear that viewers are not looking at an unretouched image.

A proponent of anorexia and bulimia awareness within the French government, Boyer believes that the disclaimer would help bring youngsters back to reality and promote a healthier body image for all. These photos can lead people to believe in a reality that does not actually exist, and have a detrimental effect on adolescents, Boyer said in a statement this week: It's not just a question of public health, but also a way of protecting the consumer.

It's not just Boyer who believes this, either. Fifty other French politicians have gotten behind the proposed law, which would require all enhanced photographs to read: Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of a person. This would not only apply to advertisements, it would also apply to press photos, political campaigns, art photography, and photos on product packaging.

 

18th September   

Update: Identified as Spurious...

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Whinges at No2ID campaign advert not upheld by the ASA
Link Here  full story: ID Cards in UK...UK introduces ID cards

No 2 ID logo An ad in the New Statesman was headlined I work on the Identity Card system for the UK Government. Below, text stated >The "National Identity Register" is the most detailed citizen database of its kind in the world. I am security cleared, which means I can get anything I want, on any UK resident. Address, heath info, financial records, criminal records, whatever. >It's all meant to be stored securely but anyone who works on the project knows it can't be. Better yet, I have a contact who works for a mobile telephone company, so sometimes I can cross-match a person to their geographical location for the last six months or more. I know exactly who they speak to. And when their mother calls. And where she lives, too. >I sell information, if the price is right. Trade is good at the moment. It's mostly private investigators and newspapers, but I get some unusual stuff too. I don't ask questions. It's nothing personal; it's just business. >I am God :o). Text below read The Government wants state management of personal identity. It isn't simple. Or safe. NO2ID is a non-partisan campaign to stop it. Join us. www.no2id.net.

A complainant objected that the ad:

  1. misleadingly exaggerated the information that would be held on the National Identity Register and how staff would be able to access it
  2. was offensive to those who worked for the National Identity Register and implied they were corrupt.

ASA Assessment:

1. Not upheld

We noted the National Identity Register was not yet in existence, but that under current proposals, the database would not contain health, financial or criminal records. We considered, however, that readers of the New Statesman would understand that NO2ID was a lobby group opposed to the ID card scheme and that the ad used an illustrative fictionalised account to set out their view that the ID card system was a threat to personal privacy and that a national database system might be vulnerable to abuse. We noted that the issues relating to the National Identity Register and ID card scheme, including the information the database was likely to hold, had been well documented in the press, and considered people would recognise the ad was deliberately controversial, to encourage discussion on a sensitive political issue. We concluded that the ad was not misleading.

2. Not upheld

We did not consider that most people would interpret the ad to mean that all those who might work for the National Identity Register, or a similar database scheme, were corrupt and likely to sell confidential information or abuse their position. We considered people would understand that the ad was highlighting a lobbying group's opinion that a database containing personal information might be vulnerable to abuse by a minority of those who worked with it. We concluded therefore that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

17th September   

Danish Mother Seeking...

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YouTube tourist video pulled
Link Here

Danish Mother Seeking Denmark's tourism agency has removed one of its advertisements from YouTube after complaints that it promoted promiscuity in the liberal Scandinavian country.

The video clip, nearly three minutes long, showed a young, blonde woman cradling an infant called August and saying he was the result of a brief fling with a foreign tourist.

Speaking English in the video, she said she was trying to find August's father through Google's YouTube website.

An investigation by a Danish TV channel clarified that the scene was staged and the woman was an actress.

Karen Sjoerup, a sociologist, said the advert suggested that you can lure fast, blonde Danish women home without a condom.

Lene Espersen, economy minister who also holds the government's tourism portfolio, said the video presented a not very well thought out picture of the country. The recording was posted by VisitDenmark last Thursday and before being removed on Monday, it had clocked up more than 800,000 hits on YouTube.

Dorte Kiilerich, the manager of VisitDenmark, initially described the video as the most effective thing we have ever done to market Denmark but later offered an apology: I regret that the film has offended so many people.

 

16th September   

Update: Perfect Storm...

Advert censor whinges at lap dancing poster
Link Here  full story: Lap Dancing in Preston...Whinging at poster adververtsing lap dancing club

Perfect 10s ad A poster, for Perfect 10s gentlemens club, featured an image of a woman, naked except for a small pair of knickers which were pulled down around her hips. The ad featured the text Say hello to my new boobs for the first time here at Perfect 10s covering her breasts. The ad also featured three smaller images of other women in their underwear in sexually provocative poses. The text at the bottom of the ad stated Its our 7th Birthday! Party with guest models Gemma Massey & Dani Thompso".

Ten complainants objected that the ad was offensive and unsuitable for display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA considered that the images in the ad were explicit and were likely to be seen as sexually provocative. We noted that they appeared on a poster, which was an untargeted medium and situated near to a public space and where they could be seen by children. We concluded that the sexually suggestive nature of the images meant that they were likely to cause serious or widespread offence to adults in an untargeted medium and were unsuitable for public display where they could be seen by children.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Social responsibility) and 5.1 and 5.2 (Offence). The ad must not appear again in its current form.

 

15th September   

Censorship on Demand...

Ofcom consult over VOD regulation and censorship
Link Here

Ofcom logo Ofcom have published a consultation on the future regulation and cenorship of Video on Demand (VOD) services.

Under revised European law, content on VOD services such as BBC iPlayer, 4OD, ITV Player, SkyPlayer and Demand Five will be regulated from 19 December 2009. Such services are available through Virgin Media, Sky and BT Vision as well as through the internet.

Regulation of these services is a requirement of the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive and covers all VOD services which are, according to the Directive, TV-like. The Government plans to give the overall duty to regulate these services to Ofcom.

Electronic versions of newspapers, private websites and unmoderated user generated material (hosted on services such as YouTube) will not be regulated.

Industry Bodies ATVOD and ASA

Ofcom is consulting on its proposal that two bodies carry out most aspects of the regulation on its behalf: Ofcom proposes that VOD services are regulated by the industry body, the Association for Television On Demand (ATVOD), and that advertising included in those services, is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

But VOD programming would not be subject to Ofcom's Broadcasting Code, which broadcast services currently licensed in the UK have to observe

Under the proposed co-regulation, Ofcom will have back-stop powers to intervene if the new co-regulatory system does not work effectively and Ofcom will also retain the power to impose sanctions against service providers.

Content Censorship

ATVOD logo Under the proposals for consultation ATVOD would regulate VOD services and would be required to ensure that programming on VOD services adheres to a number of minimum standards from the Directive which will be set out in UK legislation. Programmes, for example:

  • must not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality
  • must not provide material which might seriously impair the physical, mental, or moral development of minors unless it is made available in such a way that ensures that minors will not normally hear or see such content
  • sponsored programmes and services must comply with applicable sponsorship requirements.

Advertising

ASA logo Since 2004 the ASA has regulated TV and radio advertising in the UK under a co-regulatory agreement with Ofcom. Under the proposals for consultation the ASA would regulate the advertising on VOD services.

The new legislation requires that advertising on VOD services must also comply with a number of minimum standards. For example:

  • advertising must be readily recognisable and cannot contain any surreptitious advertising or use subliminal advertising techniques
  • advertising must not encourage behaviour that is prejudicial to the health or safety of people
  • tobacco products, prescription-only medicines or medical treatments cannot be advertised.

Viewer complaints

Under Ofcom's proposals any complaints that viewers have about video material that they feel has breached these rules will be assessed by ATVOD or the ASA.

BBC

BBC content is jointly regulated by the BBC Trust and Ofcom.

Content on the BBC iPlayer will be subject to these new regulations but as with other BBC content will be regulated by the Trust and Ofcom and not under the proposed co-regulatory arrangements.

Consultation

Our consultation closes on 26th October 2009. See further details here

 

11th September   

Mass Censorer...

AIDS is a mass murderer ad pulled from YouTube
Link Here

AIDS is a mass murderer ad A controversial ad that uses Hitler to scare viewers away from unsafe sex was pulled from YouTube, according to news reports.

The Regenbogen (Rainbow) Association ad features a steamy sex scene in which the face of Hitler, heretofore a disguised lover, suddenly leers at the viewer, followed by the message AIDS is a mass murderer. It is due to air later in September on German TV.

The association's web site also shows poster designs featuring Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin, each with a naked woman, under the same slogan.

YouTube citied possible violations of terms of use for pulling the ad. Earlier, Regenbogen director Heiko Schoessling said the shock ad was needed to bring home the message that AIDS cases are on the rise.

But Stephan Kramer, secretary-general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the French news agency AFP that while the ad might gain attention for an important issue, it was an insult to the victims of the Nazi era, among them gays and lesbians who were sent to concentration camps in the thousands.

 

11th September   

The Organisers...

ASA bans advert with image of child in bikini
Link Here

ASA logo An internet banner ad appearing on Lastminute.com titled The Organisers. Operation Bikini. The ad featured an image of an adult woman alongside a young girl posing with her hand on her hip. Both were dressed in bikinis.

The complainant challenged that the ad was offensive because it showed a young girl in a sexually provocative pose.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted the banner ad was a portion of a larger campaign ad by NH Hoteles. However, the banner ad appeared in isolation on Lastminute.com and we did not agree with NH Hoteles argument that it would be seen as part of the campaign as a whole. We acknowledged that some readers might think the image of a child in a bikini acceptable in the context of an ad for a holiday. However, we noted the young girl was not shown in a typical holiday scenario appropriate for her age, but rather shown in a bikini, striking a pose akin to that of a fashion model alongside an adult model. We considered that the image was likely to be seen to sexualise children in an irresponsible manner and therefore to cause offence.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Social responsibility), 5.1 (Offence) and 47.2 (Children). The ad must not appear again in its current form.

 

9th September   

Update: Bruno Gets Hard...

Bruno a wind up in Hong Kong
Link Here  full story: Bruno...Supporting the hype for Bruno

Bruno film paster A promotional poster for Bruno has been deemed too risque by an advertising agency that banned the ads from the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway system.

The comedy and all its promotional material had been approved by the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, Hong Kong's ratings administrator, with the film rated Category III (restricted to people over 18) and the advertising material rated Category I, suitable for all ages.

The ad agency has taken offense at a term in the film's translated Chinese title, a pun that means both definitely deceive and make hard in Chinese.

It's standard practice for us to censor the advertising materials when we receive them, even after they've been approved by TELA. We're uncomfortable with the wordings, and are concerned that it might affect the passengers, so we decided to reject the ad, Amy Chan, deputy managing director of JCDecaux told The Hollywood Reporter. The admittedly conservative agency has asked the film's distributor, Panorama, to change the wording, a request the distributor refused to accept.

 

21st August   

Longer Lasting Sex Sequel...

Advertising campaign guaranteeing lady's personal satisfaction
Link Here

MyBigO ad Six months after its giant billboards asking men if they Want Longer Lasting Sex were banned by the advertising regulator, Advanced Medical Institute is back with a campaign marketing sex products for women under the strapline Personal Satisfaction Guaranteed.

The ads are for a box of sex products.

Ladies: Your Personal Satisfaction Guaranteed , runs the banner headline on the pink and white billboards. It's your turn! the billboards add. The poster is procide the URL MyBigO.co.uk for further information.

It is understood that AMI toyed with several straplines – before clearing Your Personal Satisfaction Guaranteed – involving words such as climax and do-it-yourself activity, which were considered too risqué.

 

16th August   

Censorship Pill...

US Congress debates banning TV ads for prescription drugs
Link Here

US Senate There's a debate going on in US Congress where some are proposing that television commercials for prescription drugs be banned.

Advertising for prescription drugs is nothing new. Pharmaceutical manufacturers have long promoted their products. Consumers don't see the vast majority of such efforts, which take the form of ads in professional journals and direct contact with physicians.

The consumer was brought into the equation relatively recently. It began with ads in consumer magazines and newspapers, and intensified after the FDA cleared the way for television advertising in 1997. But even today, it's easy to exaggerate the magnitude of such efforts.

Only 15 drugs, aimed at roughly six conditions, account for more than half of all TV drug ad spending. Most of the conditions addressed are relatively common problems, with allergies and arthritis leading the list.

The FDA regulates the ads, requiring that the drawbacks as well as benefits of each medicine be disclosed. Patients still need a prescription to get these drugs.

Despite the impression left by a few celebrity patients, doctors aren't being stampeded by patients into prescribing drugs they've seen on TV. According to one study, when asked by patients for a specific advertised drug, doctors prescribe it less than 40% of the time. Another 20% of the time doctors actually prescribe a different drug — presumably one from a competitor of the advertiser.

The most important question is whether those patients who do get a prescription for an advertised drug really need it. Critics assert that they do not, concluding that the advertising is a waste of health care dollars. Yet, several studies — involving ones about drugs for depression and for high cholesterol levels among other things — indicate that, rather than pump up artificial demand, the ads help identify underdiagnosed and undertreated conditions.

 

15th August   

Whingeing Basterds...

ASA receive complaints about poster for Inglourious Basterds
Link Here  full story: Inglourious Basterds...Tarantino's movie comes in for stick

Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is being investigated by the advert censors over complaints about the film's posters.

The title was always going to have a hard time with censors, even with its incorrect spelling. Cynics believe it was done so it wouldn't have problems during its advertising campaign.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case. The Advertising Standard Agency (ASA) has received complaints from the public over the adverts, which features the 'controversial' title and swastikas emblazoned on the posters.

The general nature of the complaints is that the ad is offensive and unsuitable to be seen by children, said an ASA spokesperson: We are currently looking into the complaints and establishing whether there are grounds for an investigation.

Curiously, there are several posters dotted across the UK that have either the second part of the title absent or the words The New Film by Quentin Tarantino in place of Inglourious Basterds.

TV ads have followed suit, with no mention of the full title pre 10pm. By comparison, advertising in the US is free to use the full film title, Inglourious Basterds on TV and poster campaigns.

 

13th August   

Offsite: Reefer Madness...

Whinging at adult phone ads in computer games magazines
Link Here

adult ads My concerns were risen when my son went out and bought himself a gaming magazine to read the reviews of the latest Xbox 360 games. When he got home he quickly opened the magazine up and went straight for the demo disk and left his magazine on the table. I love to play games myself so being quite inquisitive I picked up his magazine called X360 and started to flick through the pages with the hope of finding something that might catch my eye. To my surprise the only thing that did was the last 4 pages of the magazine that contained major full page spreads of mobile sex games, videos and pictures. Convinced that my son had accidentally managed to purchase a mag from one of the 'upper-shelves' I turned to the front cover to see if there was a 18 rated sticker anywhere on the front of the magazine. Nothing. Absolutely no indication that the magazine contained content unfit for young eyes.

...Read full article

 

4th August   

Obsessed about Body Image...

Liberal Democrats believe in the freedom of companies to advertise...BUT...
Link Here

Makeover Queen Airbrushing should be banned in advertisements aimed at children to tackle body image pressure , say the Not So Liberal Democrats.

Altering photos to make them look better means children are subjected to completely unattainable images , said front-bencher Jo Swinson, herself dubbed the Makeover Queen due her obsession with body image.

The Not So Liberal Democrats have put forward measures aimed at protecting women and girls from pressure about their weight, and to promote healthy living. The party also says body image and media literacy should be taught in schools and more sports activities offered to stop teenage girls dropping out of exercise.

Among other proposals are for success rates to be included on cosmetic surgery adverts and for local sports centres to be made more female friendly by being cleaner and safer. The party also wants cosmetic surgery adverts to give their success rates.

Ms Makeover said airbrushing should be banned in advertising aimed at the under 16s and should be clearly flagged up in adverts aimed at adults.

She said young girls in particular were under increasing pressure due to completely unattainable images that no-one can live up to in real life. The focus on women's appearance has got out of hand - no-one really has perfect skin, perfect hair and a perfect figure, but women and young girls increasingly feel that nothing less than perfect will do .

Liberal Democrats believe in the freedom of companies to advertise ...BUT... we also believe in the freedom of young people to develop their self-esteem and to be as comfortable as possible with their bodies. They shouldn't constantly feel the need to measure up to a very narrow range of digitally manipulated shapes and sizes.

A spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority said airbrushing was not an issue it received many complaints about.

If images had been altered to the extent they were misleading, that was when the ASA would step in, he said: We don't get a lot of complaints about it . Consumers know there has been alteration in some of the images, maybe that is why consumer complaints are quite low.

 

27th July   

Update: Playing the Advertising Game...

Advertising codes for video games updated in response to Tanya Byron's recommendations
Link Here

CAP logo Dr Tanya Byron's review, Safer Children in a Digital World ,  looked at the advertising of video games, its effect on children and the clarity of guidance to the industry.

Advertising codes are the responsibility of two industry Committees independently administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA):

  • the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
  • the Broadcast Committee of Practice (BCAP)

The Review made two recommendations to the advertising self-regulatory system, specifically on its rules and guidance:

  • …that the video games industry and the advertising industry should work together to ensure consistency of approach between advertising self-regulation and the video games classification systems
  • … that the advertising and video game industries, and those responsible for the classification of video games should work together to produce CAP and BCAP guidance on the advertising of video games.

The Review also highlighted the granularity of codes and guidance relating to ads for video games and encouraged CAP and BCAP to introduce, during the Code Review, placement and scheduling restrictions on ads for age-rated video games.

The ASA, CAP and BCAP have now actioned Byron's recommendations:

  • In 2008, the ASA conducted a Video Games Advertising Survey to assess the compliance rate of advertising for video games against the Codes.
  • In its Code Review consultation, BCAP proposed a new scheduling rule for ads for video games, which mirrors the scheduling restrictions already in place for ads for films and videos. The proposed rule would prevent video games carrying an 18+, 16+ or 15+ rating from being advertising in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 16.
  • CAP and BCAP have compiled new Guidance, which is intended to help advertisers and media owners on both broadcast and non-broadcast ads for video games. The Guidance draws together all of CAP and BCAP's existing guidance on ads for video games and films, as well as lessons from relevant ASA adjudications, to provide a useful, central source of information. The Guidance will also apply to ads for films because they too have the potential to breach the Advertising Codes through unsuitable scheduling or placement or through the content of the ad.
  • To assist the advertising industry further, CAP and BCAP will host an Advice:am seminar on video games and films ads on 15 September this year. The seminar will clarify the Codes' requirements on ads for video games and films and to provide a forum for stakeholders to ask questions about those requirements.

So, by launching new, consolidated Guidance, proposing a TV scheduling rule for video games ads based on the existing rule for ads for films, and by hosting an Advice:am seminar, CAP and BCAP are working with the industry to make sure the dos and don'ts of advertising video games and films are clear. That way, CAP and BCAP can help ensure ads for video games and films remain responsible and that children are protected from potentially harmful or distressing ad content.

 

24th July   

Immature Censors...

Chicago Transit Authority's ban on M rated game adverts is challenged as unconstitutional
Link Here

ESA logo The Entertainment Software Association, (ESA) which represents software and video game publishers filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Transit Authority, They are claiming that a CTA ordinance disallowing advertisements of computer or video games with mature ratings is a violation of the first amendment that unfairly targets the entertainment software industry.

The suit is in response to a recently enacted ordinance, which prohibits any advertisement that markets or identifies a video or computer game rated Mature 17+ (M) or Adults Only 18+ (AO).

CTA spokeswoman Wanda Taylor said the CTA has yet to be served with the suit, but calls the policy defendable. We do not allow advertisements for alcohol or tobacco, and believe that this ordinance is consistent with that long-standing policy. We have guidelines on the system for all kinds of advertisements; what is allowed, what is prohibited [the ordinance] falls in line with that.

The suit claims the ordinance is unnecessary because the video game industry is already subject to regulation by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which strictly regulates computer and video game advertisements that are seen by the general public.

The suit asks the ordinance be eliminated, along with court fees and other relief.

 

23rd July   

Sausage Head Advert Censors...

ASA claim sausage innuendo may harm older children
Link Here

Mattessons ad Four radio ads, for Mattesons smoked sausages, which were broadcast on Forth One, Clyde Radio and Real Radio, featured a male voice, which stated Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage ... . It continued:

a. Think about all the things you can stick this tasty, extraordinarily large sausage in. Mmm. Pizza, pasta, stir fry. You have any ideas? Give me a call and tell me where you like to stick it. Ladies, Im waiting for your call ... Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage. You want it.

b. You've all been telling me where you like to stick it. Jenny certainly let her imagination run riot. A female voice stated: I stick mine in a nice warm casserole but some evenings when Im alone I like to stick it, in my pasta salad. The male voice continued: I wondered what she was going to say there. Ladies, keep telling me where you like to stick yours ... Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage. You want it.

c. You've all been calling in, telling me where you like to stick it. This was Leslies response . A female voice stated: I stick mine in a hot creamy pasta, theres nothing like a saucy sausage. The male voice continued: I'm sure the ladies out there would agree, eh? Keep the calls coming, tell me where you like to stick yours ... Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage. You want it.

d. You've all been telling me where you like to stick it. This was one of my favourites. A female voice stated I'm renowned for my big sausage hot pot. People are always calling by for a bit and my husband Roger loves it . The male voice continued: Roger that Fiona. Ladies, keep telling me where you like to stick yours ... Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage. You want it.
The ASA received 21 complaints from listeners who heard the ads at various times throughout the day.

1. All 21 listeners believed the ads were offensive, because they contained inappropriate sexual innuendo.

2. Seven listeners also believed the ads were not suitable to be broadcast when children were likely to be listening.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted the ads were intended to be light-hearted and considered that the opening line Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage ... made clear that they were referring to food. We acknowledged that some viewers might find the humour in the ads in poor taste but considered that the innuendo was not sexually explicit; it was clear that the ads were referring to food using tongue-in-cheek humour. We concluded that the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Upheld

We considered that young children would be unlikely to understand the innuendo in the ads. However, although it was not sexually explicit, the innuendo was sufficiently strong to present a problem if it was heard by older children. We concluded that the ads could cause harm to children and, because they had not been scheduled away from times when children might be listening, had not been appropriately scheduled.

The ads must not be broadcast in or around programmes likely to be heard by a significant number of children.

 

16th July   

Complaints Aborted...

ASA finds that morning after pill advert wasn't offensive
Link Here

Levonelle One Step ad A TV ad for Levonelle One Step emergency contraception featured cartoon-style animation of a worried-looking woman lying in bed next to a snoring man. Above her head a condom balloon floated round the room and burst to reveal the text The 'condom split' one. The woman was then shown on a bus near to another woman holding a crying baby. Text on the window of the bus stated The 'I'm not ready for that' one. The ad then featured the woman walking into a chemist where she was given Levonelle One Step by a female pharmacist. The text The 'only over the counter' one appeared as she picked up the product. The woman was shown walking out of the chemist with a smile on her face as the text The 'what a relief' one appeared on a billboard. A female voice-over said Levonelle One Step 72 hour emergency contraception. More effective the sooner you take it . On-screen text during the ad stated Emergency contraception and advice can also be obtained from your GP, Family Planning Clinic or NHS Walk-in Centre" and "Contains levonorgestrel. Always read the label. Not 100% effective.

112 viewers, who believed the light-hearted, cartoon style of the ad trivialised a serious issue and might lead young people to think that unprotected sex was not a problem and therefore encourage promiscuity, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

Clearcast said the ad offered help to those who feared they might become pregnant through no fault of their own, rather than because they were indulging in promiscuous or unsafe sex. The ad featured a condom splitting and therefore encouraged safe sex while pointing out that accidents could happen. The ad, and on-screen text in particular, made it clear that the product was for emergencies rather than something to be used in a casual manner. They believed the public information tone of the ad justified the use of animation, which was not graphic in itself and did not contain any overt references to sex. Because of the adult theme, they had given the ad a post-9pm restriction in order to keep the ad away from younger viewers.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted that the visuals and on-screen text referred to the fact that a condom had split, and we considered that it was clear that the couple's method of contraception had failed, rather than that they had had unprotected sex. We also noted that the voice-over and on-screen text referred to the product as emergency contraception , and we considered that it was also clear from the ad that the product was designed to be used in a specific situation where a contraceptive mishap had occurred, rather than as a regular form of contraception. We noted that the woman looked worried as she was shown sitting in bed and on the way to the chemist, and we considered that the ad suggested that her situation was not trivial but of concern to her. We considered that the animation did not present the woman in a glamorous or fashionable way, and we therefore considered that the style of the ad was unlikely to have particular appeal to young people. Because of that, and because we considered that the ad as a whole did not trivialise the issue of emergency contraception or encourage unprotected sex, we concluded that the ad would not cause serious or widespread offence.

 

11th July   

The Cerebrally Challenged ASA...

Advert censor whinges radio advert using the word 'mental'
Link Here

Bognor Motors A radio ad, for a car dealership, stated Did you know the service department at Bognor Motors can collect your car or van from your home or work service it, MOT it and even clean it inside and out and deliver it back to you for just £99.99 ... For leasing, sales service and rental, if you don't go to Bognor Motors, you must be mental.

The Capital Project Trust (CPT), a mental health charity, challenged whether the ad was offensive to those with mental health problems.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA considered that listeners would infer that the word 'mental' referred to those potential customers who chose not to avail of the services offered by Bognor Motors and that those customers were therefore not of full mental capacity. We understood CPT's concern that 'mental' was a pejorative term habitually used to demean or ridicule people with mental health problems and considered that was the context in which it would be understood in this ad. We considered that the reference was likely to be seen to denigrate those with mental health problems and concluded that the ad could cause serious offence to some listeners.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) Radio Advertising Standards Code section 2 rule 9 (Good Taste, Decency and Offence to Public Feeling).

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

 

10th July   

The ASA Sucks...

Advert censor whinges about 12 rated ad on Yahoo!
Link Here

I Love You Man DVD An internet display ad, for the film I Love You Man , showed the film's trailer when the user clicked through. The trailer featured scenes where various characters discussed oral sex. A female character said He goes down on you like six times a week to which another female character replied Lock that tongue down girl . In another scene, a male character said: Sometimes I wish that she enjoyed ... to which another male character replied getting it in the tush? ; the first male character responded No. Oral sex. In a further scene a male character said: Zoe you are about to marry a pleasure giver ... so give it back, return the favour to which a male character whispered to his female partner I don't think she sucks his ... and she replied Watch your mouth.

The complainant, who maintained that his child had viewed the ad, objected that the sexual content of the ad was offensive and unsuitable to be displayed on the Yahoo! homepage where children could see it.

Paramount Pictures UK (Paramount) said, although they acknowledged that the ad was of a theme that was not family orientated, Yahoo! had assured them that 90% of the visitors to the page it appeared on were over 18 years of age. They said the ad only ran for one day and stated clearly that the film had been given a 15 certificate. Paramount pointed out that the ad had to be clicked on in order to play the trailer and they believed that users would therefore have seen the film rating. They said the video content within the ad (the film trailer) had been given a 12A rating by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), and a post-9pm restriction by Clearcast for the same content when broadcast on TV.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted the ad made several sexual references including explicit and implied references to oral sex. Although the trailer was representative of the content of the film and might be seen by some users to be humorous, we considered that some users were likely to consider such references offensive. We also noted the complainant's concern that the ad could be viewed by children but noted Yahoo!'s assertion that the audience for the Yahoo! homepage was overwhelmingly over the age of 18. However, we considered that the site was of general interest and likely to appeal to a broad range of internet users. We noted they had also pointed out that the trailer aspect of the ad appeared only after the user clicked on the display ad. However, we noted the ad was not protected through age verification or targeting and the display element of the ad gave no indication of the sexual themes of the trailer.

Because we considered that the sexual themes of the ad were likely to offend some users and were unsuitable for children, and because Yahoo! had not taken adequate steps to ensure that the ad was appropriately targeted, we concluded that the ad was in breach of the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Responsible advertising) and 5.1 (Decency).

Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form unless appropriately targeted.

 

5th July   

Update: In the Best Possible Taste...

Microsoft pull puke advert for private browsing in IE8
Link Here

OMGIGP Microsoft have pulled a pukey advert for private browsing mode introduced for their internet browser IE8.

A woman borrows her husband's computer, visits a curious link in his Internet browser history (presumably porn), and vomits all over her husband. Then Dean Cain shows up and tells the viewer how to avoid such situations by using IE8's private-browsing mode.

Anyway, Microsoft has pulled the advertisement - as much as you can from the Internet. The ad, as you can tell, is still available on YouTube and other places, though not through Microsoft. It was also taken off of BrowserForTheBetter.com, which is Microsoft's IE8 promotional Web site.

Microsoft apparently got a slew of complaints about the video. 

We make a point of listening to our customers, a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to CNET News: We created the OMGIGP video as a tongue-in-cheek look at the InPrivate Browsing feature of Internet Explorer 8, using the same irreverent humor that our customers told us they liked about other components of the Internet Explorer 8 marketing campaign. While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so we have removed it.

 

4th July   

In the Best Possible Taste...

Singapore blown away by Burger King advert
Link Here

It'll blow your mind away A print advertisement of Burger King's sandwich in Singapore has come under fire because of its distasteful and unappetizing

The ad for the BK Super Seven Incher shows mind-blowing sandwich near the open mouth of a wide-eyed, red-lipsticked woman accompanied by suggestive tagline: It'll blow your mind away.

Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled, Fox News quoted the ad as saying further.

The ad is a limited time promotion in Singapore, known around the world for its strict government controls of social conduct. And now advertising experts have said the ad leaves little to imagination and should be discontinued.

A spokeswoman for Burger King, said the ad was produced by a local Singaporean agency.