Archive for the ‘ASA Advert Censor’ Category

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queens solitaire gamesA banner ad for a solitaire game, seen on the lock screen of a phone that was running the AVG Cleaner app in October 2016, featured three women in bikinis posing in a suggestive manner.

A complainant challenged whether the ad had been inappropriately and irresponsibly placed, as it had appeared untargeted on a device used by children.

Queens Solitaire Games, whose product was promoted by the ad, did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.

AVG Technologies UK Ltd, in whose app the ad appeared, stated that, in order to prevent improper ads from appearing in their apps, their ad providers automatically blocked ads referencing several categories, including sex and sexuality. However, on rare occasions, inappropriate ads could bypass this screening. They said that this usually happened when the advertiser categorised or named the ad in a misleading manner. When made aware of such an incident, they immediately blocked the ad manually on all ad networks and sent it to their ad providers for investigation.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Queens Solitaire Games’ lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

We considered that the sexualised nature of the images meant that they should not appear in media that might be seen by children. While the app was unlikely to appeal to children, we considered that, if installed on a device used by children, it could easily be seen by them. Furthermore, we noted that the ad had appeared on the screen of a phone while it was locked, increasing the chance of it being seen by children. We considered that Queens Solitaire Games held primary responsibility for ensuring that the content and placement of the ad complied with the CAP Code, and that they should have correctly flagged the content of the ad to the publisher. However, we considered that AVG Technologies was also responsible for ensuring that ads in their apps were targeted appropriately. We acknowledged that they had systems in place to prevent ads with sexual content from appearing in their apps, and welcomed their prompt action to remove inappropriate ads. However, we were concerned that their procedures had not been adequate to prevent the ad from appearing in an inappropriate medium in this case. We therefore concluded that the ad had been placed irresponsibly.

The ad must not appear again in media that might be seen by children. We told Queens Solitaire Games to ensure that ads were appropriately targeted. We referred Queens Solitaire Games to CAP’s Compliance team.

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david currieDavid Currie has been appointed Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority and will succeed the current Chairman, Chris Smith next year.The appointment was announced by the Advertising Standards Board of Finance, the bodies that fund the advertising self-regulation system, following consultation with the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), Ofcom and the Advertising Association.

Currie has good experience of media censorship as he was the founding Chairman of Ofcom.

Currie will take up his position from 1 October 2017.

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Nerve DVD Emma RobertsA TV ad for a competition related to the film Nerve , seen on 3 August 2016, featured a voice-over that stated, Welcome to Nerve. Nerve is like truth or dare, minus the truth. To celebrate the release of Nerve, we are giving you the chance to win a cash prize. We just want you to show some nerve. Head to mtv.co.uk/nerve to choose a dare, then share it at @MTVUK with #MTVGOTNERVE to enter. Are you ready to play? . The voice-over was accompanied by scenes from the film, including a man on a skateboard holding onto the back of a moving car, a group of men jumping into the sea from a cliff, a man hanging from a crane, a man on a motorbike speeding through a red light, a woman walking across a ladder horizontally spanning the gap between two buildings, someone falling from a crane, and a man lying between train tracks as a train passed over him.

The ad was given a post-9 pm scheduling restriction by Clearcast, which meant that it should not be shown before 9 pm or in or around programmes made for, or likely to be of particular appeal to, children.

A complainant challenged whether the ad condoned or encouraged dangerous practices.

Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ad featured scenes showing young adults engaged in a succession of highly dangerous activities. Various scenes had the appearance of being filmed on mobile phones, including some which featured overlaid graphics to look like video clips on social media. A couple of scenes were shot as if the viewer were looking up through the screen of a smartphone, including a shot with overlaid social media-type graphics which showed a woman swiping the word ACCEPT . Those scenes established the film’s theme of young people daring each other, via social media, to video themselves undertaking dangerous behaviour and post the video on social media as proof they had completed the challenge. We noted that the theme tapped into an ongoing trend in youth culture of young people challenging each other on social media into potentially dangerous behaviour, such as Neknominate and the Cinnamon Challenge .

We acknowledged the competition did not require participants to engage in any of the behaviour featured in the ad, and that some scenes showed the negative consequences of such behaviour. However, we considered that in the context of youth culture around social media challenges, the ad’s challenge to viewers to show some nerve in accompaniment with the scenes of young people engaging in dangerous behaviour condoned, and was likely to encourage, behaviour that prejudiced health or safety. We acknowledged Clearcast had applied a scheduling restriction to prevent the ad being broadcast before 9 pm, but we considered that because it both condoned dangerous practices and was likely to encourage viewers, particularly teenagers and young adults, to engage in dangerous practices, it should not have been broadcast at any time. We concluded the ad therefore breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained about.

Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

1664 alsations advertA Youtube ad for Kronenbourg, seen on 18 June 2016, featured Eric Cantona playing a fictional character who, with two dogs who wore barrels containing Kronenbourg around their necks, said delivered Kronenbourg to the deserving . In other words, to people who had experienced unfortunate mishaps or who had enjoyed improbable success. The character stated Here in Alsace, live the most intelligent dogs in the world, the Alsace-tians. They deliver Kronenbourg to the deserving . In one scenario, a monk who had been ringing church bells had become entangled in the ropes and the dogs set him free. Afterwards he was given a pint of Kronenbourg. In another scenario, a local postman had fallen off his bike into a snowdrift and was trapped in the snow. The dogs dug him out of the snow and he was then seen sitting on a rock shivering holding a pint of Kronenbourg. In a third scenario, an actor was on stage playing a dramatic suicide scene and Eric Cantona’s character in the audience was seen rolling his eyes and sighing, as though he disliked the actor’s performance. Once the performance was over, the actor received a standing ovation from the rest of the audience and the Alsace-tian dogs delivered his pint of Kronenbourg in recognition of his success. In the final scene, Eric Cantona’s character stated Man’s best friend delivering one of man’s greatest achievements. A taste supreme .

The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC) challenged whether the ad implied that alcohol:

  1. could enhance confidence; and

  2. had therapeutic qualities, and was capable of changing mood, physical condition or behaviour.

Heineken pointed out that the scenarios had been resolved by the time the beer was consumed and the scenes ended after the characters had taken a sip of Kronenbourg. They believed that no continued physical or emotional uplift was shown which could be attributed to the effect of the beer, and that it was not implied through the visuals or narrative that Kronenbourg had any therapeutic or restorative properties. They believed the ad implied that the characters were grateful for the unexpected offer of a refreshing and locally popular beer.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the actor did not receive or consume alcohol before or during his performance, and it was only after he had finished his final scene, and had taken a bow, that the Alsace-tian dogs ran onto the stage and delivered a glass of Kronenbourg. We also noted that the audience reacted positively to his performance before the dogs appeared on stage with the beer. We therefore considered that the ad did not imply that it was the Kronenbourg that had given him confidence in the later part of his performance, or that it had enhanced his popularity with the audience, and we concluded that it did not breach the Code.

2. Not upheld

We noted that in both scenarios, the dogs rescued the trapped villagers as soon as they appeared on the scene and that after they had been released, they were given a Kronenbourg. We noted that the monk was seen smiling as he brought the glass to his mouth and closed his eyes as he took a sip of the beer. We noted that the postman was shivering as he brought the glass to his mouth and, after taking a sip, he waved to Eric Cantona as a gesture of gratitude.

We considered that, although the men appeared pleased, the situations portrayed implied that any improvement in their mood was due to their relief at having been rescued from unpleasant situations, coupled with their gratitude at having received an unexpected gift of a free beer. We considered that because the beer was consumed at the very end of the scenes after the rescues had taken place, there was no suggestion that it was the consumption of the beer, rather than the act of being rescued, that had improved their mood. We also considered, for the same reason, that there was no suggestion that the beer had therapeutic properties that had helped the villagers either get out of or recover from their ordeals.

In the case of the postman, we noted he was still shivering after having taken a sip of the beer, although slightly less markedly, but we attributed that to him warming up naturally as a result of no longer being in the mound of snow, rather than having taken a small sip of beer. We considered therefore the ad did not suggest it was the consumption of beer that had improved his physical condition.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ad did not imply that alcohol had therapeutic properties, or was capable of changing mood, physical condition or behaviour.

Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

english freedom A press ad for the Ginger Pop Shop seen in the Purbeck Gazette in June 2016 included text which stated Visit our shop and get the tea-towel! and featured an illustration of a golly character holding a pint of ginger beer with text underneath stating ENGLISH FREEDOM .

Two complainants, who believed the depiction of the golly character was racist, objected that the ad was offensive.

Ginger Pop Ltd said they did not accept that the golliwog represented negative racial stereotypes. They provided information about the history of the golliwog character, including his origins in a children’s book in the late nineteenth century. They provided a copy of that book and a sequel, with quotes about his origin from the author. They also provided a modern edition of a Noddy Book and The Golly , a collectors’ handbook, which showed the variety of golly memorabilia available. They also provided a letter from a supporter and a comments book from their shop, which they said showed that the vast majority of passers-by were positive about the fact they sold golliwogs in their shop. They referred to two online videos they had uploaded about golliwogs. They believed the character as depicted in the original books and on Robertson’s marmalade badges was heroic and was an aspirational role model. They acknowledged the character had become stereotyped over time which they said had led some to believe the character was negative. They also said that he was not intended to be seen as a human character but as a magical being, and that many people of all backgrounds had golly toys as children. They supplied a tea-towel which they had produced to celebrate 120 years of golliwogs, which included many adjectives to describe the character and which they were said were far removed from the minstrel doll stereotype.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA understood that there had been some local controversy around the tea-towel produced by Ginger Pop for display and sale in their shop, and that the ad was a reference to that. However, we did not consider that all readers would be aware of that background, or that such awareness would necessarily impact on their reaction to the ad.

The Code required marketers to ensure that ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on various grounds, including race. We noted that the ad featured an image which was recognisably a golly character. We considered that many people were likely to view the character as representing negative racial stereotypes, and its prominent inclusion in a press ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We also considered that the inclusion of the words ENGLISH FREEDOM in the ad was likely to contribute to that offence, because in combination with the image it could be read as a negative reference to immigration or race. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained of.

Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

budd electrical advert A radio ad for Budd Electrical Ltd, heard in June 2016, stated Yes, everyone’s going to Budd Electrical! It’s B, U, double D and we all love a double D, right? … .

Two listeners challenged whether the ad was offensive, because the line It’s B, U, double D and we all love a double D, right? was sexist and objectified women.

Budd Electrical Ltd said the ad was intended to be a reference to Double Diamond beer, which was enjoyed by both men and women.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA considered that listeners would understand the double D allusion to be a reference to women’s bra cup size. Although the ad was not overtly sexual, it nonetheless drew attention to women’s bra cup size, which bore no relevance to the advertised service, and presented women as sexual objects by inviting listeners to focus on their bra size. We considered that the line It’s B, U, double D and we all love a double D, right? would be seen to be objectifying women and was therefore sexist and likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told Budd Electrical Ltd to ensure that their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence.

Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

captain morgan party advert video A TV ad for Captain Morgan rum, seen on 14 May 2016, featured a party on an old-fashioned wooden sailing ship. A man with Captain Morgan’s face, from the advertiser’s logo, superimposed over his own was shown dancing with friends, upending a sofa so that someone lying on it was tipped off into standing position, and using a rope to swing from one deck to another, as on-screen text stated CAPTAIN THE DANCEFLOOR and CAPTAIN THE NIGHT . The man was then shown posing with one foot on the railing at the front of the ship, with on-screen text that stated PUT YOUR CAPTAIN FACE ON . An image of a range of Captain Morgan products appeared alongside text stating LIVE LIKE THE CAPTAIN .

Alcohol Concern and a member of the public challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it implied that:

  1. drinking alcohol could contribute to an individual’s popularity or confidence; and

  2. the success of the social occasion depended on the presence or consumption of alcohol.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged Diageo’s and Clearcast’s comments that imposing Captain Morgan’s face over that of the central figure was intended to link the man’s behaviour and experience to the brand’s attitude of fun and living life to the full, and to the historical figure that it was named after, and not to represent drinking. While we agreed that the use of the Captain’s face associated the character and his actions directly with the brand, we considered that viewers would equate the brand and the character with the product itself. Viewers were therefore likely to understand that the central figure’s behaviour resulted from his consumption of Captain Morgan rum.

We noted that the man with the Captain Morgan face was shown dancing next to a band performing, and then dancing alongside other partygoers. We noted that the body language of the other individuals in the scene did not suggest that they were paying any special attention to him and did not emphasise his popularity. In the scene where the man slid down a rope, we noted that two partygoers looked directly at him as he landed, but it appeared as if their attention had been drawn momentarily by someone appearing on the deck beside them and there was nothing to suggest that the man was being regarded with particular admiration. When he struck a pose at the end of the ad, we noted that the scene did not show others being drawn to him as a result. However, we also noted that the man was shown dancing in an uninhibited way, posing triumphantly at the bow of the ship and acting in a mischievous manner (for example, by upending the sofa), which we considered suggested confidence.

Diageo stated that the strapline CAPTAIN THE NIGHT referred to the fact that the man was acting independently, in control of his actions and taking charge of a night out. We acknowledged that his behaviour and interactions with others demonstrated that he was more concerned with having a good time than gaining social recognition, and could thus be seen as acting independently. However, we considered that the use of captain as a verb to mean being in charge or in control carried connotations of enhanced confidence, dominance, and ability to lead others. As such, we considered that the phrase CAPTAIN THE DANCEFLOOR also implied enhanced confidence and abilities on the dancefloor. In that context, we considered that the phrases PUT YOUR CAPTAIN FACE ON and LIVE LIKE THE CAPTAIN would be understood by consumers as invitations to achieve a confident, uninhibited attitude through consuming Captain Morgan rum. We considered that this impression was reinforced by the image of Captain Morgan products that appeared on screen at the end of the ad alongside the message LIVE LIKE THE CAPTAIN , as well as the repeated use of the word captain , which directly invoked the name of the product in a context of confidence. Although the ad did not explicitly depict drinking alcohol as resulting in a change in the central character’s behaviour in a before and after scenario, we considered that the superimposed Captain Morgan face implied that he had already consumed the product and thus linked his confident behaviour to this consumption. We concluded that the ad implied that drinking alcohol could enhance personal qualities and was therefore irresponsible.

2. Not upheld

We noted that the opening shots of the ad showed a ship on which a party appeared to be underway and then a scene of people dancing on the deck, before the man with the Captain Morgan face was introduced. We did not consider that there was any noticeable change in the upbeat, party atmosphere once he appeared. We noted that the party scenes did not show alcohol being consumed, and although we considered that the behaviour of the figure with Captain Morgan’s face would be understood as being associated with alcohol consumption, as described above, there was nothing to indicate that his actions had any positive or negative influence on the enjoyment of other partygoers. Therefore we concluded that the ad did not imply that the general success of the party was dependent on the presence or consumption of alcohol.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Diageo not to imply that alcohol could enhance people’s confidence.