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back to article 'Bloody' is an offensive word, declares ASA

The Sun newspaper has been ordered not to use the word 'bloody' on posters in future. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it was socially irresponsible to use the word in an advert that appeared in a public place. The advert appeared on the side of a lorry. It stated "Where the bloody hell were you?" against a …

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IT Angle

Offensive

To whom?

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Bloody Stupid!

Yet another example of PC gone mad.

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The ASA...

... had already tried to ban the Aussies "So where the bloody hell are you" tourism advert but eventually decided it was ok in a post 9pm slot.

Personally I think most kids response to this would be "Fuck that..."!

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W
Alert

Shit a brick.

It's a fucking insanity when the "think of the children" line is rolled out by some cunts in relation to the cocky use of bloody by some twats who,amongst other editorial wank, print tits on page 3 every day "in a family paper".

More seriously, what about the parodied original Australian tourism ad that used 'bloody'? (Only shown after 9pm, presumbaly.)

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Bloody Idiots

>[...] but nevertheless considered that the word 'bloody' was a swear word, albeit a milder one than some others [...]

bloody - blud'i, adj or adv : as an intensifier, sometimes expressing anger, but often almost meaningless.

Not obscene. Not vulgar. Not a swear word. The ASA are autocrats.

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Anonymous Coward

etymology

The OED says that "bloody" is not derived from "God's Blood" or the like, though an incorrect belief that it is might be the reason for people thinking that it is offensive.

"Fuck" is not an acronym. The word is more than 500 years old and has cognates in Dutch and other Germanic languages.

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@Fraser

"Bloody" does not refers to the blood of Christ. The exact etymology is uncertain, but it most likely refers to the "bloods" (young aristocratic rowdies). Thus to be "bloody drunk" was synonymous with "being drunk as a blood" or "drunk as a lord". It wasn't even seen as offensive until 1750, having been in use from about 1675-ish.

Any Christians offended by it's use, thinking it to be a slight against them (rather than their just being prudish) need to go get a grip as it has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity or other fables.

It also most likely has nothing to do with "by my/our lady" either.

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Paris Hilton

Heard much worse on The Simpsons

The Simpsons is way more sweary AND it's targeted at children.

Watching The Simpsons at 6pm one day on C4, I witnessed an Irish character call someone a "w***er". I've also heard bu**er and a**e on the Simpsons on multiple occasions.

I don't give a toss, personally... Big hairy willies.

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@AC 1538

I stand corrected, a quick trip to my trusty OED suggests that you also had a quick trip to your OED.

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Coat

What Shaw's?

One presumes that "Not Pygmalion Likely" is too long a headline to appear on the front page of a tabloid-format newspaper.

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Pirate

Can you get a cream for that?

NuLabour's Nanny State appears to be a highly infectious contagion.

Perhaps we the people should adopt enforced sterilization of all bureaucrats & politicians...

..or at the very least hold them for 42 days without charge fishing for evidence of them visiting "sexual encounter" venues with "stimulation intent", and possessing pornographic material depicting a "realistically harmful act". On the positive side we will discount their punishment by 2.5%

@Tim

["but i dont suppose they employ rocket scientists at the sun."]

I doubt it - journalists mostly I'd imagine.

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Strange how one puritans complains...

...and something is immediately done about it but when 1,000,000+ people march through London they're roundly ignored. There's something up with that. I've often wondered what the criteria for a complaint being upheld are. You could easily syndicate and get say a hundred people to phone/write complaining about something, anything, a picture of a milk bottle for example and ASA or any other 'ombudsman' would dismiss it as spurious. But one person complains about something like this and all of a sudden they leap into action. Why? Is it just that the complainant's views exactly coincide with the censors? It seems so. There are many things way more offensive in our world, many of which are complained about regularly but nothing ever gets done. I find murder offensive, genocide, political lobbying, ah hell, politics in general, corporate gouging. Constantly mis-leading advertising - Experian's *Free* Credit Check adverts, with no mention of limited 30-day trial 'til you're well into the process. As mentioned by another poster, the *unlimited* claims. What about "Pay your taxes all your life and you'll get a police force/NHS/benefits service." Um...if ever there was false advertising that'd be it right there, and I find that extremely offensive.

But one woman gets a bee in her bonnet about the word *bloody* and they put their great nail boots on, walk to the foot of their stairs, and kick our cunts off for half an hour.

WTF?

People called the government they go the house.

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Coat

So ...

When will they outlaw frak?

Mine's the one with the toaster in the pocket

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great jebus

Bleedin' wankers. Hopefully the US will send the rest of its oppressed right-wing wackos to GB to fill the remaining gubmint offices.

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Boffin

pp. 66–68 in "Mrs Grundy, Studies in English Prudery"

by Peter Fryer. Publ. Dennis Dobson, London, 1963. An entire chapter devoted to "The 'Bloody' Taboo." Yes, it's a short chapter, but so what? With copious (one might say bloody copious) notes.

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up with a personal library that plays such excellent counterpoint to some of the more arcane El Reg commentaries.

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Unhappy

@Nic Brough

"The ASA do have a use" - No they don't - they're as big a waste of space and time as Ofcom. Someone should put them both out of their misery.

Also, ASA has no jurisdiction in cinemas so banned tv adverts can be shown there regardless. More joined up thinking by up the idiots who rule over us.

Take the tax disc & tv license adverts - highly intimidating. If a company ran a similar styled campaign, the ASA would take them down for attempted extortion. Hypocrites.

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@ Thomas Baker

Actually, the question of acting on complaints is simple:

Q. Will acting on the complaint enable us to erode more civil liberties, reduce freedom of speech, or increase our control of the public?

A. If yes, act on it immediately - even if only one person complains. If no, do nothing - even if the entire country complains.

Roll on, the New World Order.

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Joke

Not Bloody likely

Actually, most of us in Oz use fuckin' instead of bloody - fuck me sideways, the fucking server's fucked, FFS.

We reserve the great Australian adjective (as it was previously known) for pommy advertising campaigns so that we don't offend their sensibilities - oh well that worked :-)

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Anonymous Coward

ITS THE END OF CIVILISATION!!!!!!

Get a grip guys. Are you asserting that there is more censorship now than, for example, there was in the sixties when "Lady Chattersly's (SP?) Lover" was banned? You peas are getting above your sticks again. One ineffectual wagging finger at a "Bloody" on the side of a bus isn't going to stop someone else doing it again, or something similar, in a little while. The ASA is cheaper than hiring the best ad agencies and pretty bloody effective. Don't get so worked up about it. Its bad for your health. Oh, and no more talk of banning the Sun "Newspaper"; The only better way of recognising idiots I can think of is to make them all wear pointy hats with a D on the front. The Sun is a useful tool.

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Linux

Bugger me

Similar fuss here in NZ a few years back when Toyota featured an advert using the word 'bugger'.

At least one person complained, but unlike this case, common sense prevailed and they were told to go away. Simple rule is that it has to cause offence to the 'average' person; not just the odd prissy idiot.

The 'bugger' advert can be found on this page among others:

http://www.aut.ac.nz/research/research_institutes/icdc/inaugural_lecture_by_director/kiwi_english/

yes, I am a penguin from the deep south.

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404: Expletive not found

Who IS this B. Luddy?

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Unhappy

@Grant

No one in the UK Govt corporation knows what common sense is. With their total inability to listen, I'd be surprised if they'd even heard of it. Same goes for the Tories & Lib Dems.

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Paris Hilton

Surely it's descriptive?

Like penis?

Paris... Yeah. Not too obvious.

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Go

A good time to...

...use ASA's complaints procedure!

"I would like to express my anger and disbelief at ASA's continuing attitude to prudish complaints about advertisments featuring use of the word 'bloody'.

How is it that ASA justifies upholding baseless complaints such as the Sun's recent olympics advertisment, or Telewest's use of the word? It appears that the sole justification is that it could potentially be seen by children.

Yet the word 'bloody' is used in a myriad of children's entertainment. Even in the Harry Potter films, which are predominantly aimed at and watched by children, feature the use of terms such as 'bloody hell' on a frequent basis.

It is also a grave concern that the word may be considered non-offensive if used in a different context. The term 'bloody hand' could have multiple connotations, yet ASA feel they have the authority to decide which is 'accceptable' for the general public. This is censorship.

I would urge the ASA to seriously consider what it is doing and its own credibility if it persists in taking such wildly inappropriate actions of suppression. Complaints are often made about many things in life, but these are predominantly made by a very small minority - listening to this minority can only mean that the majority are inconvenienced."

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Linux

Bloody....

What is so offensive about Bloody??

Bloody I suppose is kind of offensive depending on the context it is used, but I certainly wouldn't consider it a swear word at all, even if it is used in sentences like Bloody hell.

Does this ban also ban the word from being used to describe something that is bleeding? Is it offensive to say something like the murderer washed his bloody hands?

I still remember my friend getting upset about me saying bloody hell in front of her daughter once, but I'd never considered it to be really offensive until then. I wonder how long it will be before someone else picks up on other offensive phrases - for example when we're tired we say "I'm knackered" (I've been told off for that one as well!) we'll all have to start saying we're shattered instead LOL!

Also why hasn't the ASA stepped in over the offensive seat belt adverts at the moment. These adverts about hearts being broken and the main arteries being ripped from your heart are probably way more scary and offensive to kids than some newspaper saying bloody. "You hear about hearts being broken, but hearts don't really break, do they? but if you crash at 30mph with no seat belt on you will have your heart broken, the force will rip the main arteries from your heart" and it's read by someone as if she's reading a bedtime story! - lovely for some kid to hear when in the car!

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Heart

@AC

couldn't agree more - particularly because that particular ad is bound to cause every thinking kid to wonder why your ribcage slamming into an airbag will rupture your heart, but slamming into a seat belt won't... (answers on a postcard. please)

Paris, because she doesn't have one

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Boffin

Alternatively...

They could try the Red Dwarf approach to censorship...

If you can't use an existing expletive - invent your own!

I can confidently say the ASA are a bunch of smegheads :)

Similarly, LINUX/UNIX circles frequently use File System ChecK (fsck) out of context, and the French Connection's UK branch (fcuk) got away with using their acronym on merchandise...

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Bloody good on the ASA!

I absolutely applaud the ASA for the action they've taken on the "bloody" issue for a number of reasons.

1. I have never understood why the stupid word is offensive regardless of its origins, real or imagined, and having it banned by the ASA finally made me go and look it up in the OED. Therefore the ASA's action made me overcome my deep seated laziness and learn something new today.

2. The fact that the ASA banned the word ensures its continued use, especially by children, and entrenches it yet further into the lexicon of spoken English the world over. There is no better way of cementing the affections of a famously truculent people for a thing than banning that thing.

3. The ASA's action has provided a thoroughly enjoyable evening for me while I read and write these comments about such a patently silly thing.

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Happy

Bloody Oath!

hahahaha ... how stuck up are they.

Trying to resist making obvious jokes about the state of English Rugby after being destroyed by both the Wallabies and the Kangaroos ... in retaliation for the gold medal count ...*

Simon (an ex-Pom himself), Australia

* Goodonya to the Welsh though.

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Flame

PS: to Bloody Oath

A typical Australian TV advert: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2006/inghams-chicken-swearing/

Also, wtf are the pommy government moaning about. Wasn't it Tony Blair who, when he landed in Canberra to meet our government, said in a jetlagged and weary voice: "Where the bloody hell am I?" (Which, to be fair, is what most of us say when we go to Canberra - think Milton Keynes full of Pollies and you've got our capital city).

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OK ... final PS ...

Some analysis on the use of the word "bloody" in TV adverts ...

http://www.pingudownunder.com/blog/2007/10/12/why-we-curse-bloody-aye-and-origin-of-the-word-pom/

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