Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 33

scene in the pharmaceutical advertisement where a man hugs his male friend does not suggest that two men showing physical intimacy towards one another is inappropriate. In the other advertisement a voiceover which describes an embrace between two football players of differing size as an awkward man hug was also not viewed by the Board as depicting material in a way which discriminates or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of their sexual preference. Discrimination on the ground of physical characteristics Discrimination on the ground of physical characteristics can include aspects such as height, weight, hair colour and perceived attractiveness. An advertisement featuring people using their phone to assist with their exercise (Apple 0284/14) included a soundtrack with the lyrics, “go, you chicken fat, go”. This was found by some in the community to be demeaning to overweight people. The Board noted the song was the theme tune to the youth fitness program set by President Kennedy to encourage physical activity among young Americans in the 1960s and that the lyrics are intended to be light-hearted. The Board also noted the advertisement did not feature overweight or obese people and there was no suggestion that overweight or obese people should be discriminated against or vilified because of their appearance. The Board view was that the use of the song in conjunction with the images of healthy people exercising did not amount to material which discriminates against or vilifies a person based on their weight. The concept that scars are ugly (Queensland Health – 0157/14) was not viewed by the Board as discriminatory or as vilifying of a person based on their appearance. This television advertisement featured a young man who had scarring after being burnt by fire. The Board considered that a statement made by a doctor during the advertisement was one which most people would agree with. The Board view was that people may find scars ugly, but that the advertisement does not suggest that people with scars are ugly. Review of Operations 2014 Discrimination on the ground of lifestyle choices Dietary preferences were considered in cases during 2014 under Section 2.1 in relation to discrimination on grounds of lifestyle choices. In its annual Australia Day advertisement (Meat and Livestock - 0013/14) made reference to people who prefer to live a vegan lifestyle. The advertisement is a continuation of the irreverent theme used in past versions of the advertiser’s promotion of lamb for Australia Day. While the advertisement does imply that eating lamb is preferable to being a vegan the Board view was that the advertisement does not make any specific claims that you can only be strong and healthy if you eat meat and that the advertisement encourages people to eat lamb on one specific day of the year but does not suggest you should eat lamb every day or that you should not eat any other foods. advertisement, “You’re not you when you are hungry”, strongly endorses sexist behaviour by men as being normal. The majority of the Board considered that while the advertisement does play on a stereotypical view of male builders it does so in a light-hearted manner and does not explicitly state how male builders behave. A television advertisement about a female plumbing company (Female Choice Plumbing 0002/14) was considered in relation to concerns about its sexist and insulting depiction of male plumbers, showing a plumber with part of his buttocks exposed. The comparison with a better dressed tradesperson was not viewed by the Board as discriminatory towards male plumbers, but rather a depiction of the type of tradesperson a consumer would prefer to employ. The Board viewed the overall tone and theme of the advertisement as light-hearted and humorous. A billboard advertisement that made a suggestion that vegetarians were not welcome (Munich Brauhaus - 0335/14) at a festival, also came before the Board. In this case the Board view was that it was created in a light-hearted manner to play on the German language and the meat centric platters that are synonymous with the Bavarian culture. The Board maintained a consistent view that while some people may find the advertisement offensive and possibly discriminatory, the reference to a person’s lifestyle choice of whether to consume meat or not, does not amount to discrimination. Discrimination on the ground of occupation An online advertisement (Mars Confectionary Snickers – 0120/14) was considered by the Board in 2014 after community concern about its negative misrepresentation of male builders. The Board noted comments male builders call out to women during the advertisement are positive and considered that the suggestion is that if the men weren’t hungry they would be calling out negative or sexist comments to the women. The Board noted that there does exist in the community a stereotypical view of male builders who make unwelcome comments to women. A minority of the Board considered that the tag line of the 31