Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 29

The Board’s view Applying the Codes and Initiatives When considering complaints about advertising, the Advertising Standards Board is bound by sections 2 and 3 of the AANA Code of Ethics, and a number of additional industry codes and initiatives. These Codes determine what issues the Board can look at when considering complaints. These issues fall broadly into 10 categories: • discrimination • u se of sexual appeal • violence • p ortrayal of sex, sexuality and nudity • u se of language • h ealth and safety • a dvertising to children (including the AANA Code for Advertising and Marketing to Children) • m otor vehicle advertising (the FCAI Voluntar y Code for Advertising of Motor Vehicles • f ood and beverages (including the AANA Food and Beverages Marketing and Communications Code, the Quick Service Restaurant Initiative and the Australian Food and Grocery Council Initiative) • e nvironmental (AANA Environmental Claims in Advertising and Marketing Code). Review of Operations 2014 Discrimination or vilification (Section 2.1, AANA Code of  Ethics) Section 2.1 is a broad category which includes discrimination or vilification on the basis of age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, physical characteristics, mental illness, disability, occupation, religion, sexual preference or lifestyle choice. It is important for advertisers to note that depictions of any section of society may raise concerns of discrimination, especially if groups are presented in a negative manner. Although the use of humour and a light hearted nature in advertisements has in certain cases lessened the impact of the overall message, if the Board views the advertisement as discriminatory against any group it will breach Section 2.1. The issue of discrimination and vilification attracted 27.61 per cent of complaints in 2014. Discrimination against age In 2014 the Board received complaints about a television advertisement depicting an older man becoming angry after falling off a motorbike (Mars Confectionery - 0133/14). The complainant thought the advertisement disparaged the appearance of an old person and was ageist. The Board noted the man’s friends call him a “cranky old man” but considered this was directed more at the character the actor in the advertisement is known for than at older men in general. The Board viewed the use of well-known people playing the parts of people acting differently due to hunger lessened the extent to which their behaviour could be seen as a reflection of behaviour undertaken by people of a particular gender, age or demographic. The Board had previously dismissed advertisements from the same advertiser where people are depicted behaving differently (mostly negatively) when they are hungry (0439/10 and 0084/13). An advertisement featuring a short-sighted exercise instructor accidently giving a Zumba class to a group of elderly people who were gathered to play Bingo (Specsavers - 0172/14) raised concerns about vilification—ridicule—of the elderly. The Board considered that while the older people were depicted as being there for Bingo, they were shown taking part in and enjoying the Zumba class. The Board considered that while the suggestion that older people like Bingo is a stereotype the advertisement portrayed a positive depiction of older people which was empowering and not demeaning. The Board had previously dismissed similar advertisements featuring people making mistakes because they weren’t able to see properly in cases 0283/11 and 0213/12. 27