back to article UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

Ads depicting manchildren incapable of carrying out basic household tasks, and women in the role of Stepford Wives clearing up their mess, are to be banned in a crackdown by the Advertising Standards Authority. It follows a review conducted by the watchdog following the public's reaction to the "beach body ready" advertising …

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Re: The society of the spectacle

"In a consumer society, social life is not about living, but about having; the spectacle uses the image to convey what people need and must have. Consequently, social life moves further, leaving a state of 'having' and proceeding into a state of 'appearing'; namely the appearance of the image".

I could REALLY use a Moke Coke about now! It's healthy and wealthy and makes me look cool!

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Meh

That's fair enough but for the love of god will you also ban Adam Sandler films?

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You can't ban Adam Sandler films

They're clearly divine punishment for some ancient sin.

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As the late, great Bill Hicks said

"By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you."

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Good news

If the ASA wants to vet each advert for compliance with New Soviet ManTM then it clearly has too much time on it's hands. Lets get rid of 10% of them and see if they still think this is a good idea.

Or, in other words, the public can inform advertisers of the unsuitability of their adverts simply by not buying the product.

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Re: Good news

They aren't going to vet each and every ad. Never have and never will. It's new guidance for the industry and they'll sit back and maybe deal with complaints about breaches of the new guidance. If they have time. Then when they do get around to acting on a valid complaint, they'll ban said advert after the campaign has finished. But at least they will have set a precedent for future adverts. Maybe.

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Re: Good news

I may have been exaggerating.

Let me try again

Incompetent middle aged white bloke falling off things - hillarious good fun, no harm to anyone

Incompetent middle aged white bloke falling off things - a damaging social trope holding back our younger generation

I'm fine with the ASA holding advertisers to account over honesty, validity and provability of claims. Not so fine with them being my moral bastions.

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What does this mean for the Andrex Puppy?

Do they have to use a Tasmanian Devil instead?

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It's a pointless step

The ASA has no teeth. It goes round investigating complaints

For example, in this week's rulings, the advert "A Video on Demand (VOD) ad for Femfresh bikini line shaving products, seen on ITV Player and 4oD in March and April 2017, featured several women, who were wearing briefs and swimwear, dancing. It included multiple close-up shots of the women’s crotches.". It clearly breached ASA rules, so what did the ASA do? Did they:

1. Report the incident to the CPS for prosecution?

2. Prosecute them directly?

3. Fine them?

Nope. The full action from their web site reads "The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Church & Dwight Ltd not to use advertising that objectified women and which was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to promote their products."

In other words, they wrote them a letter. By this time, the company has probably already moved on and are using a new advert. So a pointless gesture.

Many companies don't even reply to the ASA. After all, what's the point?

If England is serious about these adverts, it needs to allow the ASA to take action against these companies, not just write a letter.

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Society shouldn't move forward. Period. (well actually it should)

FFS, we all (apart from the misogynists) know that less stereotyping probably leads to a more successful outcome for society overall. Sometimes that movement needs a nudge in the right direction, which is what this is.

Stop being so fracking alarmist about control. Advertisers know they shouldn't be using cheap stereotypes to sell stuff. So they drag their heels, because it is easy. France recently had a similar thing about underweight models used in advertising. It is just wrong, so they legislated.

Once equal treatment becomes the norm, we can scrap these laws as antiquated. But for now, we need them.

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Headmaster

There goes

advertising, or the philosophy behind it... Grab their attention, even for the briefest of moments, and you've planted a seed.

Pedant, as, well, you get the advert...

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Facepalm

Re: There goes

Yes, Mr Ad-man, I'm now aware of the product you're pushing. And thanks to your irritating presentation, I've developed a personal hatred for you and the company you're representing. It makes buying choices SO much easier when I've immediately eliminated the irritating ones!

Was that the response you were looking for?

P.S. Your techniques for informing and persuading aren't much better

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FAIL

And....

The last three pages of comments just on this article is why any sort of ban is pointless.

It doesn't matter if you think you're making the rules for the right reason.

YOU ARE STILL GOING TO PISS SOMEONE OFF REGARDLESS

Doesn't matter if it is the most politically neutral possible. Someone, like me, will be offended because you are trying so hard not to offend everyone.

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Flame

Request for the article author

.. to actually include a mention of which nation is implementing the policy?

Obviously not the Yanks, pretty sure stupid advertising companies are sacred over there and can only be tried or regulated under church law,. and probably not mainland european, but there are lots of similarities in flavour between Oz and UK government (race to the bottom? one sport where the poms are probably winning)

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Anonymous Coward

United Kingdom (5,500 km east of America)

The country is literally the first two characters of the title YOU FUCKING STUPID YANK!

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Anonymous Coward

Well goodbye...

...ganja toting Afro Caribbean milking a giraffe for sweets.

yes, I know not all Afro Caribbeans are like that.

Some milk penguins, instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this catch 22?

Let me get this straight.

sexuality and roles are not determined by innate biology, but by cultural stereotyping.

so in order not to warp citizens minds, we must not reinforce cultural norms.

then citizens will become totally unsure of what cultural norms, and their roles should be.

And we wont be able to show that on TV either, because the cultural norm of a gender confused neurotic will be considered a stereotype.

Oh dear. you can only determine if racial discrimination is happening by an act of racial discrimination.

you can only fix racial discrimination by an act of racial discrimination.

What it amounts to is that government itself becomes a vehicle for self justifying bigotry.

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That's the yogurt industry bolloxed then...if the ads are to be believed women hold regular yogurt parties whilst men are unable to recognise it as food, despite looking at a fridge-full of the stuff.

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Boffin

That would be because yogurt is not food. It is a disgusting mass of bacerial byproducts, even worse than honey, a.k.a. bee vomit.

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You know, it vaguely worries me that yogurt parties are going on all the time, but -as a bloke- I am unable to see them.

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Don the Fart

If this legislation is passed will it mean the end of clips about little handed Donnie and put an end to his future prospects of stardom?

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I have an idea that is fairer, simpler to enforce, and will be welcomed by a much wider spectrum of society: Ban ALL advertising.

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Meh

Well as a widower dad of one small child can I say that it's very obvious that the entire advertising and social set up is circled around kids+mum.

And that neither my boy or myself really give a shit about it. Life's too short to get worked up about crap like that.

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Long ago and far away...

In the 1980's, I read about a study here in the states. The researchers analyzed 399 television commercials where either the woman or the man was humorously portrayed as clueless, stupid, incompetent, we're lazy. In all 399, the butt of the joke was the guy.

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Re: Long ago and far away...

I can take being the butt of the joke so long as I have the Ultimate Power ™. Kneel before me... ah, I’m not doing anything in particular, dear.... yes, dear, whatever you say, dear... SWMBO says that

I have to go now.

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this shouldn't be encouraged, it's another 1st world problem

We don't or at least shouldn't need 'protecting' from stereotypes, bad role models or anything we might see on the TV, on a billboard or on a computer. We seem to be encouraging a world where people are increasingly fragile and can't think for themselves, we need to tiptoe over endless eggshells to avoid offending them.

Obese people are told to be 'body confident' rather than to lose weight, they cost the NHS £5billion every year, there are so many of these body confident people about no-one notices any more, yet if you see someone who is anorexic then it's rare, people look and stare, this is despite the thin/athletic models in the magazines, on the TV, in adverts etc, or the slim manakins in the shop windows. They then use 'real women' in the adverts to avoid offence meaning that to be one you have to be overweight, if you are slim/athletic then you're presumably part of the problem! If you're a man that's useless around the house or can't change a wheel on a car then you're a stereotype, if you know how to fix stuff and don't have a problem with DIY and keeping the house clean then you're just another man that's keeping women down. If you're a woman who likes being a housewife then you're oppressed! Any model used will always offend someone, it's what they're there for, it gives them validation. It's a competition to see who can be the most frequently offended and self-righteous.

People don't need protecting, children should be taught how to think, not what to think. You should be confident in your own self and mind, your problems are your problems, they're not everyone else's, you're just as special as everyone else, i.e you're not special. No-one is interested in what you identify with if that's all you've got to contribute to the world. Go out and do something, be the best you can. If you find that the way a product is advertised offensive, awesome, don't buy their product, don't complain about it and demand that it's banned. We're bending over backwards for this tiny but very vocal minority of people who contribute nothing but demand everything. It's long past time we just ignored them and got on with our lives as all of these harmful adverts or stereotypes don't bother us, we're don't even notice them as we're just getting on with it. If you object to how something is advertised then just don't buy it. Marketers create adverts they think will help sell a product, if it doesn't work they'll try a different approach.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you are a 1st world problem

Advertising is psychological warfare against the proletariat, and increasingly the precariat (gambling, payday loans).

>a world where people are increasingly fragile and can't think for themselves

Societal atomization caused by capitalism

>People don't need protecting

Yes they do. From products that will harm their health.

>children should be taught how to think, not what to think

Impossible under capitalism

>you're not special

Everyone is literally unique, but that uniqueness must be sacrificed to become a cog in the machine. In an increasingly robotised world, sacrificing people like this becomes glaringly unacceptable.

>Go out and do something, be the best you can

The proletariat don't have the luxury of choice

>ignore them and got on with our lives

Our lives as consumers right?

>Marketers create adverts they think will help sell a product

No, they create adverts to spread consumer ideology. The idea that you have a problem (that may not even exist), and that problem can be solved by buying things. However most real problems are inherently social.

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Re: you are a 1st world problem

>>People don't need protecting

>Yes they do. From products that will harm their health.

Fuck right off. I'll smoke if I want to, drink if I want to and stay up late eating fucking crisps if I want to.

>>children should be taught how to think, not what to think

>Impossible under capitalism

Last time I checked, parents were still parents no matter what system they live under. It's their job to teach the children.

>>Go out and do something, be the best you can

>The proletariat don't have the luxury of choice.

Yes. Yes we do. No-one is forcing us to make shitty decisions, we do that all on our own and often refuse to learn from the mistakes. That's our failure. Every person who ever worked their way up from nothing to have a decent life is proof that the choice is there.

>>ignore them and got on with our lives

>Our lives as consumers right?

I almost agree with you there... But I dare you to live without consuming anything for a week. Being alive means consumption, no way around it. If you'd said hyper-consumers then I would have been on side.

So what is your solution to these ills if I may be so bold as to inquire?

If you suggest socialism I'll point out that Venezuelan real-estate is really cheap right now. Go buy yourself some and live in your utopia. Personally I'll pass.

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Anonymous Coward

What we need is more government regulation of acceptable speech...

bleated the sheep in unison.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What we need is more government regulation of acceptable speech...

Corporate propaganda isn't speech.

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WTF?

From the agency that let BT and Virgin advertise "Superfast Fibre Broadband"

... when the fibre stops at a cabinet many hundred meters away from your house at best. I complained, and they said "because the fibre represents the most significant distance along which the data travels, it is permitted to call it fibre broadband".

This ignores the fact that the weeny piece of copper string at the end of the fibre is what dictates the ACTUAL PERFORMANCE of the connection.

This is more nannying from an organisation that meddles and really shouldn't feel obligated to worry about society/services that it isn't responsible for and doesn't understand. Stop it. Focus on fairness and stop the lying. Leave the rest of the grown-ups alone.

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