Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2016 2016 Review of operations_WEB - Page 36

• Advertisements which use people of different ethnicities in roles where there is no reference to or focus on the person’s ethnicity, are not seen to be representative of all people of that ethnicity, e.g. a man of African descent having been abducted by aliens (Now Finance – 0464/16) and a couple who have not been able to sell their home, one of whom is of Asian descent (realestate.com.au – 0249/16). Discrimination against sexual preference Discrimination on the ground of lifestyle choices In 2016 the Board did not find any advertisements to breach the Code in relation to this issue. The Board’s view is: In 2016 the Board did not consider many advertisements under this provision. The Board’s view is: • Advertising which shows a male acting in a flamboyant and effeminate way, where there is no reference to homosexuality, is not intended to mock gay people as the character was using behavioural not sexual traits (ACT Government – 0209/16). • • Light-hearted humour in situations involving male closeness is not homophobic and does not amount to a derogatory sentiment toward homosexual men (Sportsbet – 0044/16). Discrimination against religion In 2016 the Board did not find any advertisements to breach the Code in relation to this issue. The Board is of the view: • • • • 34 As well as being an important part of the Christian calendar, ‘Christmas’ has been commercialised as a holiday season and considered that the use of the word Christmas, along with the visuals of a decorated tree and a man dressed as Santa Clause, is a secular portrayal and not a portrayal which is disrespectful or discriminatory towards people with strong Christian beliefs (BCF - 0554/16). While some members of the community may find using a depiction of a burger as the head of a religious figure offensive, in the context of a cartoon on a website most members of the community would not find this depiction discriminatory or vilifying of the religion (Grill’d – 0553/16). In modern English, ‘Hallelujah’ is frequently spoken to express happiness that a thing hoped or waited for has happened, without any religious significance, and the use of a popular religious song which contains this word is not vilifying religious beliefs (Fairfax Media – 0411/16). While some members of the community could find the use of the Lord’s name to be offensive to their faith,  most members of the community, including Christians, would find that using the phrases, ‘Thank God’ and ‘Jesus’ as expressions of relief and disbelief is not aggressive and is not attacking or discrediting the Christian faith (NPS Medicinewise – 0036/16). - - 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.  The Board has dismissed a number of complaints about advertisements in this area. The Board is of the view that: • • Advertising which links the word ‘hairy’ to a dangerous situation and linking this to depictions of hairy men is making a humorous link between the commonly used phrase hairy and body hair, and does not discriminate against or vilify people with a lot of body hair (Motor Accident Commission SA – 0469/16, 0470/16, 0471/16, 0533/16 and 0476/16). Advertising which features a character making a humorous comment about their own hair colour, does not amount to discrimination or vilification of all people with that hair colour (ING Direct – Advertising which makes humorous comments about vegans not eating meat, in a way which is not ridiculing or inciting hatred towards vegans, is not seen to discriminate or vilify a section of the community. An internet and social media advertisement which depicted a team of people ‘rescuing’ Australian ex-pats to return them home to eat lamb on Australia Day, the mission is aborted when they encounter a vegan (Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd – 0017/16, 0018/16 and 0019/16). Discrimination on the ground of occupation The Board considers very few complaints under this provision. The Board’s view is: • Advertising which suggests that people may become frustrated when making phone calls to some companies does not suggest that the people who work in any type of call centre environment should be thought less of or treated badly because of the type of job they do (Members Own Health Funds Ltd – 0556/16). • Advertising which suggests one person is bad at their job, does not suggest that all people who work in that role are bad (Isuzu Ute Australia Pty Ltd – 0262/16). 0463/16). • Advertising which depicts a person being singled out because of their height and weight, when done in an exaggerated and humorous manner and where the person being singled out is not depicted in a negative light, does not amount to discrimination or vilification (iSelect Pty Ltd – 0407/16). Advertising Standards Bureau