Charlton Promoted…ASA kindly help publicise Charlton Athletic’s stadium rental

Posted: 5 June, 2015 in ASA Advert Censor
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charlton stadium advert An online video ad, which was featured on the Charlton Athletic YouTube channel, for Charlton Athletic Football Club pitch hire in the style of candid CCTV footage showed a man and a woman entering the empty stadium late at night and running onto the pitch. They then appeared to start to have sex in the centre circle of the pitch and after a few seconds the stadium floodlights suddenly turned on. The woman, whose chest was pixellated, sat up and quickly drew her jacket around her. The camera drew back to show the stands, which showed the stadium name “The Valley”, and a voice-over then stated “Fancy scoring at The Valley in May? Contact the sales team now to book the pitch for your team”.

A complainant, who believed that the ad was sexist and derogatory towards women, and unsuitable for children to view, challenged whether the ad was:

  1. offensive; and

  2. harmful and irresponsibly targeted.

ASA Assessment

1. Not Upheld

The ASA noted that the ad featured sexual activity, with the implication that the woman was partially dressed, and that the phrase “score at The Valley” referred both to scoring a football goal at CAFC’s ground and a euphemism for sex. We also noted that the woman was seen to initiate the break-in to the stadium and was not seen as a passive or unwilling participant, and understood that the euphemism ‘score’ related to sexual success by either gender. We therefore considered that the woman’s role in the ad was not gratuitous and that she was not objectified. We acknowledged that the humour in the ad largely derived from the woman’s unintentional public nudity, but noted that this resulted from her decision to break into the stadium and was likely to be understood as embarrassing rather than derogatory. Although we acknowledged that the humour, including the invitation to ‘score’ at the stadium, may be considered distasteful by some viewers, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of sexism.

2. Upheld

The ASA considered that because the content of the ad was of a sexual nature it was therefore unsuitable for children and that care should therefore be taken to prevent it from appearing in places where children might view it. We acknowledged CAFC’s statements that they had targeted the ad through selection of media aimed at adult males. However, the ad had also appeared on CAFC’s YouTube channel. We noted that the majority of videos appearing on the channel comprised match footage and interviews with players and fans (including children), and considered that the channel was likely to attract children who were fans of the club. Because the ad had appeared in a place where children might see it we concluded that the ad had been irresponsibly targeted.


The ad must not appear again in its current form on the Charlton Athletic Football Club YouTube channel or other untargeted media. We told FL Interactive Ltd to ensure that future ads that were unsuitable for viewing by children were appropriately targeted.


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