ASA – lets do something about this…
Louise Livesey // 5 October 2008
You can’t have failed to notice that the Advertising Standards Agency (in the UK) has absolutely no conception of gender issues at all. In fact it really, really, really doesn’t get why women get so angry at both advertising and their incredibly denial-ist responses. So here’s my plan…. lets name and shame them. Type out the text of their responses here and lets see if we can make them take notice – after all they get away with it because we complain as individuals and we get responses as individuals and we get annoyed as individuals. So lets band together and demand that the ASA gets some feminist based gender awareness training and gets a clue.
To kick off the fun and games here’s a response to a complaint about the Orangina Advert that we covered here (yes the one with the pole dancing animals and phallicly exploding bottles of soft drink).
Thank you for contacting the ASA with your complaint about the above ad.
We received a number of complaints about their ad and they were referred to the independent ASA Council for assessment. I should say right at the start that the Council did not think that there were sufficient grounds for us to intervene.
There were a number of aspects of complaint that Council [sic] were asked to consider. All the complainants objected that the ad was offensive as they felt that it was overtly sexual and explicit. A number commented that it was entirely irrelevant to the product and a few were concerned about the effect it could have on children and young people, particularly as it was on during the summer holidays and was advertising a drink that was likely to be popular with children. 14 complainants felt it was inappropriate to sexualise animals and was akin to bestiality and 13 thought it demeaned and objectified women and implied that dancing provocatively for a man’s pleasure was acceptable.
Council [sic] acknowledged that the ad had sexual content and Clearcast (the organisation that clears ad prior to broadcast) had applied a post-9pm scheduling restriction. They recognised that some adults might find the content distasteful.
Council [sic] appreciated that some viewers might have personal objections to animation involving animals being given a sexual theme, but it was unlikely that the average viewer would interpret the fantasy cartoon characters as condoning bestiality or other sexual fetishes. It was also unlikely that the ad would be generally viewed as portraying or condoning degrading stereotypes of women. Whilst the theme of the ad may have appeared to have little relevance to the product, this did not constitute a breach of the TV Code and alienating some viewers was a risk that the advertiser had chosen to take.
So there you have it – apparently so long as it doesn’t promote sexual fetishes (anyone else having Section 28 flashbacks?) then it’s OK. So now we know.