Advertising complaints up over and down under.

Over at the Filthy Engineer’s I noticed that these two adverts have been banned after making the Advertising Standards Wibblers upset.

Well, clearly the first one is a little suspect because there’s no evidence in the photo that the ladder is properly supported or, given that she’s not holding on properly, that the girl has received adequate health and safety training. Presumably the second should carry some kind of warning about the dangers of wild animals. Am I right? Ah, no. The ASA were flooded by literally some complaints about the merest hint of side boob in the first and the completely gratuitous porn shot reminder, for those that might need it, that the girl in the second is in possession of a dangerous vagina.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said 33 people complained that the ads were unsuitable for children, offensive and condoned or encouraged anti-social behaviour.

The ASA said the two banned ads contained sexual undertones and appeared in an untargeted medium likely to be seen by children, ruling that they breached rules covering responsible advertising and decency.

Oh, the humanity!

It said both images were “likely to cause serious offence to many adults”.

Bad news, fellas. Banning things because 33 humourless, hand-wringing killjoys with vaginaphobia offends me on a very deep and personal level because of the implication that I can’t cope without you doing my thinking for me and that I can’t decide for myself what is and isn’t moral. No joke, when paternalistic moralising twats like you decide what’s good for everybody and ban what you feel isn’t I am genuinely offended. Now, you could attempt to ban bans or you could decide that there’s no fucking right not to be offended and un-ban what you’ve banned. Either way, your move.

Still, hopefully the Filthy Engineer will be cheered by the news that not all bansturbation succeeds. Early last month I blogged on some road safety ads that had aired here in Victoria, and had attracted complaints because they dared to be a bit tongue in cheek and suggest that whenever someone uses a mobile phone while driving ginger people will have sex with each other. At the time the Advertising Standards Bureau ruled that the ads were silly but not offensive.

Oh noes!

And now it seems the ASB has had more complaints about an ad for the ANZ Bank featuring a red haired woman giving really bad customer service (my bold).

… the latest complaint focuses on the hair colour of Barbara, played by veteran performer Genevieve Morris.

“The advertisement patently slurs red-haired persons as obnoxious and inferior,” the anonymous complainant wrrote (sic).‘‘If any other ethnic group was identified thus you would promptly shrink from allowing the advertisement and brand the producer.’’

The bank has defended its advertisement, saying Morris was chosen for the role because of her comic ability rather than her copper locks.

Got that? She could have been bald for all ANZ cared, anonymous auburn person. Or russet or strawberry blonde or whatever you prefer. And that’s probably why, despite welcoming our new titian*-haired overlord, the ASB told you to stuff off again. Even if you are genuinely offended, and you shouldn’t be, stop playing your hair colour as a victim card. Being beaten up at school for having red hair is one thing but getting upset about joke adverts? If it’s not heightist to suggest it, life’s just too short.

Ooops, sorry.

* H/T to Roget, without whose work I would have run out of synonyms for ginger during the course of this blog.


Posted on July 1, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Advertising complaints up over and down under..

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