In each issue of Inspire, we bring you recent determinations from the Advertising Standards Board to help you see the AANA Codes in action – what’s in breach, what’s not – and why. This issue shows the first complaint considered against the new Wagering Advertising Code, which kicked in on 1 July.
Issue: State or imply promise of winning
Result: NOT IN BREACH
Watch the ad here
To recap, the Wagering Advertising Code provides a range of protections for the community, including requirements that wagering advertising must not:
It applies to advertising in relation to wagering products and services by licensed Australian operators, and complements existing State and Territory legislation.
This TVC featured a female presenter talking about a betting “special offer”. A male joins her and queries whether the “special offer” is as special as a money back offer. He goes on to explain the offer, and taps his mobile phone while the background changes to the “William Hill world” with screens showing racing and sports event (read full report).
While complainants stated that the ad “gives the idea that when you bet, you pretty much can’t lose!” the Board noted that the ad did not make a claim that you will win, but that you will get money back if you lose, if the bet meets the conditions of the promotion. The Board considered that the special offer of the money back did not amount to a promise that you couldn’t lose, as there were conditions attached to the offer, and therefore was not in breach of the Code.
Issue: Health and safety
Result: IN BREACH
This poster ad for Lebara Mobile featured an image of a man and woman on a scooter. The woman is standing up behind the seated man and neither is wearing a helmet. Also, the woman’s arms are outstretched.
Complainants noted that the two people on the motorbike were not wearing helmets and the rear passenger appeared to be standing up off her seat.
The advertiser said in its response (read full report) that the image was taken overseas where “motorcycle laws are more relaxed”. The Board noted that the Code of Ethics says, “Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety” and that this refers to the standards of the Australian community, regardless of what the laws are in the country where an ad was made or originally shown.
The Board noted that while it is not clear if the motor bike is moving or stationary, the provisions of the Australian Road Rules are very clear that even if a motor bike is stationary, a helmet must be worn by both the driver and any passenger. The overall impression is that the motor bike is in the process of being used and in the Board’s view a depiction of a passenger without a helmet on a motor bike standing up with arms outstretched is a depiction of unsafe behaviour and a breach of the Australian Road Rules.
Issues: Objectification, exploitative and degrading and sex/sexuality/nudity
Result: IN BREACH
Watch the ad here
This video ad appeared in the store windows of Bras’N’Things in a shopping centre, and featured a woman wearing different styles of Playboy lingerie. The camera moves over the woman’s body to show the detail of the lingerie (read full report).
Complainants said that shopping centres are “populated by large numbers of teenage and pre-teen boys and girls who cannot make a distinction between Playboy brand lingerie, and Playboy the brand that sexualises and sexually exploits women of all ages.”
The Board noted the video depicted a model moving around and considered that the way the model stroked her hair and moved her body was sexualised. It also noted that the video contained no branding for the shop, or the particular line of lingerie, which increased the sexualised impact, with a focus on the woman’s body rather than on what she was wearing.
The Board noted that the video ad was displayed in a shop window facing into the shopping centre where any member of the public could view it. The Code requires advertisers to treat sexualised imagery with sensitivity to the relevant audience which, in this case, was broad and likely to include children. The Board concluded that the ad did not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience.
Have you signed up to the Ad Standards Bulletin? The monthly bulletin provides updates on recent determinations, complaint statistics and other interesting complaint handling happenings. It’s a useful tool for staying up to date with community standards in advertising. You can sign up at adstandards.com.au