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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Advertising across the pond...

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which is funded by a tax on the advertising industry, is responsible for fielding complaints against specific advertisements, and then ruling about whether or not the ad violates strict advertising codes. For someone who's interested in the way that advertising controls, and is controlled by, culture, this is fascinating stuff.

The ASA just released their Top Ten Most Controversial Advertisements list of 2006 -- the ads that got the most complaints. 3 of the 10 most controversial ads involved homosexual innuendo or kisses. This Dolce & Gabbana ad was the 10th most controversial ad of 2006, and involved two men kissing briefly. Check out the excerpt from the BBC article...


D&G ad

Something of a theme emerges here - with D&G and the politics of same-sex relations appearing three times each in the top 10. D&G's TV ad showed a brief kiss between two men, and was followed by complaints that it was unsuitable for children to see, and some that it was unsuitable to show at any time. The regulators decided that to be appropriate it was only necessary that the advert not be shown around programmed aimed specifically at children.

Complaints not upheld

While the ASA refused to take down the ad entirely, it did require that the ad not be shown on programming aimed specifically at children. I hope they also don't allow heterosexual kissing during children's programming. Otherwise, we teach kids that our gay brothers and sisters are outsiders and wierdos. Mainstreaming homosexuality needs to happen everywhere in our culture, including television advertising, before we can build a culture of acceptance and tolerance for all peoples.

On a less serious note, the complaints against Kellogg's are hilarious. Read on below... I ride my dog home everyday to get my Crunchy Nut!


Kellogg's ad

Objections to a Kellogg's television ad featuring a man riding a dog (to get home in time to eat Crunchy Nut) claimed that it portrayed cruelty to animals and would encourage viewers to try the same stunt at home. Kellogg's responded that the ad was clearly surreal in nature, no dog was actually ridden during filming and that the advert wasn't being shown before the watershed, so children would not copy it. Viewers were also warned not to try it at home.

Complaints not upheld


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