Taking Offence, Nothing Else Matters…ASA dismisses whinges about post watershed Durex advert

Posted: 10 May, 2014 in ASA Advert Censor
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Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

durex great sex advert A TV ad for Durex condoms, broadcast during the film The Goonies at around 9.05 pm on Saturday 24 August, opened with a scene of a woman lying in a half-sunken boat which panned out to show her being caressed by a man. Both actors were clothed. The ad cut to show another woman holding a condom packet in her hand. A voice-over said, Great sex is … when it’s so powerful you can’t stop feeling the intensity all over. The woman in the boat then pushed the man partially underwater and a bottle of sexual lubricant was seen falling through the water. Various scenes then showed couples in sensual embraces in locations including the half-sunken boat, a corral and a crowded bar. A dog was shown picking up and running off with some underwear. The voice-over then said, When great sex moves you, nothing else matters. Love sex. The same text appeared on-screen, along with pack shots of a selection of sexual health products.

The ad had been cleared by Clearcast with a post-9 pm scheduling restriction.

Three complainants challenged whether the ad was inappropriately scheduled, because it was shown during a film directed at or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 16.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA considered the content and nature of the product meant that it was not suitable for young children. We therefore considered the post-9 pm scheduling restriction imposed by Clearcast was appropriate.

We acknowledged Watch’s assertion that the ad was not overtly sexual. However, we noted that whilst the ad did not show nudity or sexual activity, it did contain scenes that showed couples in sensual embraces and had included one scene that showed a woman who sat on top of a man, which could be interpreted as alluding to sexual activity. We also considered that the tone of the voice-over heightened the sensual nature of the ad. We noted one scene featured a condom packet in an actor’s hand which, in the overall context of the ad, we considered to be a clear reference to anticipated sexual activity.

We accepted that Watch had used the consolidated data and we considered that could be a reasonable practice when formulating data for forecasting purposes, particularly when audiences could be low. The consolidated data supplied included previous films broadcast at a similar time as The Goonies and covered several months and days of the week, and we noted that that data showed that children in both the under and over ten age groups were not over-represented. We therefore considered that the broadcaster had taken diligent steps to predict the likely index scores. We also acknowledged that the broadcaster had taken into consideration the BBFC rating of the film as a likely indication of the age range of the audience.

Because the broadcaster had taken reasonable steps to ensure the ad was not broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 10, we therefore concluded it was suitably scheduled.

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