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Adman Highlights Televisions Double Standard

Wonderful Statement
January 30, 2008

Adman Highlights Televisions Double Standard

The writer and creative director of the banned Charlie’s Soda Company television ad, Gavin Bradley, has criticised the double standard which has seen the humorous cartoon ad removed from our screens.

“The ad is an innocent piece of humour which was judged by the Television Commercials Approval Bureau – the professional body to which advertisers must pay a fee to gain a certification without which their ad cannot be broadcast – to meet all aspects of the Advertising Code of Practise”, says Bradley.

“To then, as a result of 8 letters of complaint, have your ad judged against that same code by a panel of enthusiastic lay people, and banned from broadcast, I think is absurd’, he says.

“It’s like paying to have your new house plans approved by your local council, building your house, and because a bunch of neighbours don’t like it they can complain, have the decision reviewed by a panel of schoolteachers, university professors, and retired company directors and next thing you know you’re being told to pull your house down. And let me assure you, although ad bans are often trivialized in the media, the advertisers investment is often as big as a house”.

Bradley also takes issue with the double standard that applies one set of rules to programmes and a very different set to ads.

“The rules set out in the Advertising Code of Practise are overwhelmingly about ‘prevailing community standards’. What mystifies me is that this ad for Charlies Soda can no longer be played on Television in this country."

“Not in the documentary ‘The World’s Biggest Penis’, not in ‘Naked Wild-On’, not in ‘Californication’, and certainly not in ‘Friends’ in which, although I have never watched it, I am reliably informed every single character has slept with and cheated on every other character."

“These are all incredibly popular shows which rate highly and therefore bring huge advertising revenue to the networks”.

“There would seem to be two very different sets of ‘prevailing community standards’ in play. I think it’s high time the Advertising Standards authority reviewed it’s code, let marketers get on with their job in the real world and dropped this namby pamby nanny state mollycoddling”.

“The subject of most of the complaints I have seen in recent times is sexual, and the inference seems to be that sexual reference in advertising is going to result in a generation of sexual deviants and predators. This will only come about as a result of bad parenting, not because of a bit of titillating humour on television”.

“I think much greater damage will occur to a generation of children due to the huge volume of sugar and additive laden soft drinks they consume than by watching 3 seconds of a cartoon animated cleavage followed by 2 boys squeezing lemons”, Bradley says.

No complaints were received about one of the other ads in the campaign – the one showing Marc Ellis naked.


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