Offensive Advertising

August 9, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority took a look at what people found offensive about ads. Tom de Castella reported:

  • 16% of people say that they had felt offended by advertising in the past year.
  • For children the figure jumped to 30%.
  • Surprisingly charity adverts seem to be the worst offenders with people feeling that they had gone too far to illicit sympathy and guilt.
  • Charity ads about animal welfare, child protection, drunk driving, rape, and smoking were the most upsetting.
  • Defenders of the ads say that charities need to use their meagre advertising funds to stand out, and that people should be more upset by the fact that what is depicted in the ads happens on a daily basis, rather than the ads themselves.
  • Sex is the traditional problem area with ads, but attitudes seem to be changing. People are less upset now about scantily clothed models, as long as it is in the appropriate context and the postures aren’t overly suggestive.
  • Yet there are limits to this. The mixture of sex and religion upset many.
  • Moreover 56% of teenage girls said that advertising made them feel insecure about their appearance.

To read more including the role the internet has played, links to some of the most offensive ads, what industry experts have to say, more statistical points from the survey, what the defenders of offensive ads have to say, the feeling of being powerless, the ad that most people objected to, the effectiveness of some of the ads, how ‘gratuitous’ ads are different, the questions of body image and teenage sexualisation, and how this all relates to Father Ted, click here.

Source: BBC