Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 32

2.1 of the Code. Concerns generally focus on the use of stereotypical portrayals and accents representative of different nationalities. In 2014 the Board considered two advertisements for iiNet (0321/14 and 0375/14) which raised concerns of discrimination against Slovakians and Romanians. Complaints raised issues of stereotyping the accent and dress of people from those countries, as well as implications that these countries were inferior to Australia. The Board view was that the focus in these advertisements was on the internet speeds of Romania and Slovakia in comparison to Australia and considered that there is no suggestion that any of the three countries are better or worse than the others, rather that Romania and Slovakia as small European countries have faster internet speeds than Australia. In one case the representation of an Asian man (Murray Goulburn – 0299/14) was not viewed favourably by the Board. While noting that in the full 60 second version of the advertisement each character is seen performing tasks with the same level of incompetence, the Board’s view was that the 15 second advertisement delivers a negative suggestion that people of Asian background are not capable of, or should not be involved in farming and that the portrayal of the man in this way was demeaning. Concerns about generalisations and racism toward Caucasian Australians were made about an advertisement highlighting actions that can cause depression in Indigenous people (Beyond Blue – 0291/14). The Board view was that the message given in the advertisement relating to discrimination against Indigenous people was not intended to offend Caucasian people but acted as the mechanism to demonstrate various levels of discrimination and deliver the important message. Noting that the focal point of the advertisement is the Aboriginal people and highlighting to others what an Indigenous person feels, the Board view was that the perpetrators were incidental and there was not a negative view of Caucasians, rather only a negative perception of unconscious