Friday, 4 June 2010

Controversial ads or just plain funny?

So the World Cup is on its way and with it, lots of memorabilia and British flags. My local pub looks like it is geared up for the Queen’s coronation and a royal wedding all in one go. Half the nation (mostly male) is going to go loopy for a few weeks, I wonder if the release of Sex and the City 2 was deliberately timed in this way? Extra seats sold as women across the nation flee?

Anyway, happy days for most people while the world’s favourite game takes centre stage. However, on the flip side, rather worryingly, there are already stories circulating however that some people in public situations are being told not to fly the English flag and not to be too overt in their national pride. Most of these stories are unsubstantiated for the moment so I shall reserve any further comment; I just hope that people are going to be allowed to celebrate (or commiserate) in a normal way without being worried about who they might upset.

It was with this thought that I was relieved to hear that the ASA still have some sensible people working there – not taken over by such a level of political correctness that creativity is stifled. I like to think they have a sense of humour too and some of their recent decisions reflect this.

You see I really chuckled when I saw that ad for Homepride ovencleaner that claimed “even a man can do it”.

OK, so I am a woman and some men may feel differently but isn’t it just tongue in cheek? Can’t people see that? Well thankfully the ASA think so, despite being the 2nd most complained about advert in 2009, ASA did not hold up the complaint.

More recently a Burger King advert was also complained about by 52 people. The internet audio ad featured a conversation that began: "Oh officer don't give us a ticket, I was just getting some king lunch," with the officer replying: "I can see that and it looks king good."

Again the ASA did not uphold it. Come on – it’s a clever play on words, you take it how you want to.

So good on them for not stifling all last remnants of creativity as we standardise and legislate in every area, and good on them for letting brands have a go at some more interesting advertising so long as they stay true to the product's attributes and the reality of using them.


  1. Agree with your sentiments Caroline, but just to be picky, I must correct you when you say "lots of memorabilia and British flags" - Britain does not have a team in the World Cup, England does!
    From exiled Scot,

  2. I stand corrected! sorry all Brits that are not English.