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Billions - Season 1 DVD Not sure if you were aware of this, but Tuesday 18th’s premiere of Season 2, Episode 9 (Sic Transit Imperium) of Sky Atlantic’s imported US Showtime drama BILLIONS , had a heavily censored subtitle track for Deaf/Hard of Hearing viewers added to it. Every single swear-word was edited.

Fuck became heck, frick, frig, screw, freak, crap Fucking became sucking, fricking, frigging, freaking, freaky, fracking Shit became stuff, hell, crap Pussy became punk Bullshit became bullspit Goddam became gosh-darn, full-blown (yes, really!) Motherfucker became money-grabber Fuck this became forget this

The only rude words that survived intact were crap and ass .

Whoever did that episode’s subtitling clearly had an issue with all the adult language. I’ve never seen anything like this, since the 1980’s/90’s days of films on ITV (like ALIENS or DIE HARD).

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asa 2017 The Annual Report 2016 reveals how our work has changed and how ASA adapted to a fast changing advertising landscape where nearly half of the work now involves regulating online ‘advertiser-owned’ ads , material that just five years ago wasn’t covered by the rules.  2016 marked the five year anniversary of the ASA and CAP extending the advertising rules to cover companies’ and other organisations’ own ad claims on their own websites and social media spaces, for example on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter.  The Annual Report reveals the impact of that change.  In the last five years:

  • The ASA has resolved 41,383 complaints about 36,872 online ‘advertiser-owned’ ads
  • Those ads accounted for 1 in 3 complained about to the ASA
  • 88% of complaints about online ‘advertiser-owned’ ads were about misleadingness, compared to 73% for complaints across all media.

The report highlights the regulatory challenges the changing advertising landscape poses, with the lines between offline and online and between paid-for, ‘owned’ and ‘earned’ advertising becoming increasingly blurred.  And the report shows how technological change has influenced the ASA’s strategy to have more impact and be more proactive.  

Key figures for 2016 included: 

  • The ASA resolved 28,521 complaints about 16,999 ads
  • 4,824 ads were changed or withdrawn as a result of ASA and CAP action (a record year and a 5% increase on 2015)
  • CAP delivered 281,061 pieces of training and advice to industry to help companies and organisations get their ads right (another record year and a 10% increase on 2015)
  • The ASA and CAP delivered strong enforcement, with 8 websites taken down, one successful prosecution of an alternative therapy provider following referral to our legal backstop, Trading Standards, and two arrests pending prosecution
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karma shotra A video ad on the online drinks retailer 31Dover.com’s website and on Youtube, seen in February 2017, opened on a blurred background and title text The Karma Shotra appeared. Bar paraphernalia including glasses, bottles and a variety of alcohol products were then shown with doodle drawings such as arms and faces overlaid on them. These characters were shown smiling and touching each other in a sexual manner. Subtitles appeared throughout such as The Cork Screw and The Rim Job , each followed by the characters engaging in sexual activity.

Two complainants, who believed the ad strongly linked alcohol to seduction, sexual activity and sexual success, objected that the ad was socially irresponsible and breached the Code.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA considered that the video as featured on the advertiser’s own website and on their YouTube channel was an ad which fell within the remit of the CAP Code. The video featured alcohol products and referred throughout to the website URL where products could be purchased and was therefore clearly directly connected with the supply or transfer of goods and services provided by 31Dover.com.

We considered that the ad strongly linked alcohol to sexual activity. The ad plainly features sexual innuendo, sexual references and sexual activity in association with the promotion of alcohol products and 31Dover.com. We did not consider that because there was no human and alcohol interaction and there were no specific alcohol products or brands featured that this impression would have been eclipsed. Because the ad linked alcohol with sexual activity, we concluded it was socially irresponsible and breached the code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 18.1 18.1 Marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that is likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise. For example, they should not encourage excessive drinking. Care should be taken not to exploit the young, the immature or those who are mentally or socially vulnerable. and 18.5 18.5 Marketing communications must neither link alcohol with seduction, sexual activity or sexual success nor imply that alcohol can enhance attractiveness. (Alcohol).

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told 31Dover.com to prepare future advertising in a socially responsible way and not to link alcohol to sexual activity in their future marketing communications.

I Drink Your Blood Blu-ray I Drink Your Blood is a 1970 USA horror by David E Durston (as David Durston).
Starring Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadin Wong and Rhonda Fultz. BBFC link IMDb UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence for:

  • 2017 88 Films (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 10th July 2017

Censorship History

Notably the first US movie awarded on MPAA X rating for 1970 cinema release. The distributors then screened it in various cut and uncut versions claiming an R rating. Uncut on US home video. Passed 18 uncut for the film’s first ever video release in 2017.

Promotional Material

A group of hippies wreak havoc on a small town and a young boy, whose grandfather and sister were attacked by them, decides to get even, with deadly results.

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Germany flagThe German broadcasting authority, the Landesmedienanstalt , has issued a temporary ruling requiring streamers using services such as Twitch and YouTube to obtain a broadcasting license to avoid penalties. This license, known in German as the Rundfunklizenz , can cost anywhere from 1000 to 10,000 euro to obtain.

The news comes after popular Twitch streaming channel PietSmiet said it was told it will need a license by April 30 if it wants to continue streaming. The changes apply to all online streamers with a very low threshold of 500 or more followers.

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governmet germany logoGerman ministers have recently approved plans to fine technology companies if they fail to censor posts that are claimed to be hate speech or ‘fake news’.

The law introduces fines to the tune of approximately £42.7m if technology companies do not censor complalined about posts within 24 hours of it being reported (or seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases). The approval comes one month after the draft law, the Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, was unveiled.

Google, Facebook and Twitter are likely to be particularly affected.

Many have raised concerns over the censorship process. The head of the Digital Society Association, Volker Tripp, said: It is the wrong approach to make social networks into a content police.

The implementation of the law will now mean that all contended posts will now be rapidly and routinely removed regardless of the voracity of the complaint. After all this is the age when complainants are always right.

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fast and furious 8Fast & Furious 8 is a 2017 USA / Japan / France / Canada / UK / American Samoa / Samoa action crime thriller by F Gary Gray.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel. BBFC link IMDb

Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage… and to bring home the man who made them a family.

BBFC advised category cuts have been made for a 2017 12A rated cinema release.

The film was passed 12A for moderate violence, infrequent strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for 2017 cinema release.

The BBFC commented:

  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was informed it was likely to be classified 15 uncut but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by reducing one scene of violence. When the film was submitted for formal classification, that moment of violence had been acceptably reduced and the film was classified 12A.