Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 38

clearly implied that the woman was screaming because her child was drowning and that the advertisement depicted a level of disproportionate violence and was likely to cause alarm and distress to some members of the community, especially children. Representations of nerve pain using images of needles and nails in a hand (Pfizer Australia – 0243/14) were presented in a clinical and unrealistic manner and would not cause distress in viewers, including children. Although given a W rating (enabling the advertisement to be shown in children’s viewing times) the Board view was that the advertisement’s very serious tone and unrealistic images were not scary and unlikely to cause distress. A scene in which a seagull is mistaken for a volleyball (Specsavers Pty Ltd – 0534/14) was viewed by the Board as one which would not be considered to condone or encourage violence against seagulls. Noting that the theme of the advertisement was in keeping with the advertiser’s previous advertisements where people make errors because they are not wearing appropriate visual aids, the Board agreed it was a situation most likely to be considered unlikely and humorous. The Board also noted most members of the community would recognise that the seagull was not a real bird but a computer generated image and that the bird was seen unharmed at the end of the advertisement. Bullying An image of a skeleton like hand dragging its fingernails through the name of the game on the floor of a mall and similar imagery on the side and rear panels of buses (Bethesda - 451/14 and 452/14) were viewed by the Board as relevant to the product being advertised and not as images which portrayed violence that was inappropriate given that the advertised product was a horror game. Behaviour which may be considered bullying is considered by the Board under Section 2.3 for violent acts or Section 2.6 (health and safety) for non-violent bullying. Cruelty to animals Advertisements with the potential of causing alarm and distress to children were considered by the Board in 2014. Concern for the welfare of animals continued in 2014 with the Board considering several advertisements under Section 2.3 for cruelty towards animals. Complaints were dismissed after concerns were raised about dog welfare in an advertisement for a dog treat (Mars Petcare Australia - 0168/14) and for cat welfare in a gambling advertisement (Tabcorp – 0324/14). In both advertisements the Board viewed the attention given to either animal was not cruel—the cat received affectionate petting and the animated dog received a treat. The Board acknowledged that cruelty to animals is a serious topic but was of the view that an image of a pigeon in a bottle ( JCDecaux Australia Pty Ltd – 0418/14 was clearly in the context of a campaign highlighting communication methods and that it would be very unlikely to encourage people to try and copy the image with a live pigeon. 36 In 2014 the Board did not find any cases to breach Section 2.3 in relation to violent bullying. Imagery attractive to children Behaviour depicted in advertisements for a toy sale (Woolworths Supermarkets - 0263/14 and 0274/14) that might be copied by children was thought to be overly aggressive by some viewers. The Board agreed that the suggestion of blowing something up is of a mildly violent nature. However in the context of children posing as agents or villains, the Board view was that in connection with the promotion of a toy sale, the overall impression the children’s behaviour gave was one of fantasy and not one of strong violence or the promotion of violence. Advertising Standards Bureau