A Date with PC Extremism…Advert censor bans Sun Dream Team advert for offering a date with a page 3 girl as a prize

Posted: 6 November, 2014 in ASA Advert Censor
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Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

suns dream team video An email sent to subscribers to the Sun’s Dream Team fantasy football competition stated You’re signed up to Dream Team and for that we promise to love, adore and cherish you … You can take your Dream Team experience to the next level by becoming a Chairman and creating a Mini League. Not only do you get to hammer your mates every week, but if you recruit 10 players or more to your league you will get: Entered into a prize draw for a date with a Page 3 girl – we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now … Don’t listen to your girlfriend when she says size doesn’t matter. The bigger your Mini League is, the more prizes you can get your mitts on . Issue

The ASA received 1036 complaints, many of which were submitted as part of a campaign led by SumOfUs.org.

  1. The complainants, who believed that to offer a date with a page-three girl as a prize was sexist and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive and socially irresponsible.

  2. Many of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible for offering a date with a page-three girl as an incentive to gamble.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA understood that pay-to-play fantasy football games were regulated by the Gambling Commission as they were pool betting competitions and effectively involved a bet on the outcome of a series of uncertain sporting events. While we acknowledged that individuals were able to sign up to, and play, Dream Team for free, because pay-to-play options were available we understood it was still a gambling product. Therefore, we considered that the ad indirectly promoted a gambling product.

We understood that the Sun’s male and female celebrities, including page-three girls, were involved in the Dream Team game as Chairpersons and had featured in previous promotional activities. We noted, however, that the celebrities were not simply featured in the promotional material, but that a date with a page three girl was offered as a prize. In the context of the ad, we considered that to offer a date with a woman as a reward for success in the game was demeaning to women and objectified those offered as prizes. We also considered that the wording we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now … , further enhanced the impression that the women were simply objects to be selected at the whim and enjoyment of the winner, and had no choice in the matter themselves.

We considered that the primary motivation of a number players, both male and female, when signing up to the Dream Team game would be their interest in sport and fantasy football. We considered they would not necessarily expect a date with a page-three girl to be offered as a prize and that the notion of offering a date with a woman as a prize was likely to be offensive to a number of recipients.

Because we considered that the email presented the women as objects to be won, we concluded that it was sexist, offensive and socially irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the Sun to ensure that their future advertising contained nothing that was socially irresponsible or likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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