Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2016 2016 Review of operations_WEB - Page 46

Language (Section 2.5, AANA Code of Ethics) Section 2.5 of the Code states: Advertising or Marketing Communications shall only use language which is appropriate in the circumstances (including appropriate for the relevant audience and medium). Strong or obscene language shall be avoided. In 2016 Section 2.5 of the Code accounted for 11.45 per cent of all complaints, slightly below the 14.01 per cent in 2015. In all cases raised in relation to language in 2016, the Board considered the medium of the advertisement and the most likely audience which may be exposed to the language. In advertisements where children may view advertisements, the Board is always more conservative in respect to language acceptability. For a more in-depth overview of cases in 2016 see the language determination summary on the ASB website. Obscene terms There are certain words and terms that when expressed in full the Board will consider as a breach of Section 2.5 of the Code. The Board’s view is: • The word ‘fuck’ expressed in full will almost always be a breach of Section 2.5 as a strong and obscene term. - - 44 A movie promotion which includes the phrases ‘fucking arse’ and ‘it will fuck you up for life’ (Sony Pictures Releasing – 0376/16). • The use of the ‘c word’ in full in an advertisement will always be found by the Board to breach Section 2.5. - - • Use of the letters ‘CU in the NT’ written in a way that made the ‘c word’ obvious (NT Official – 0515/16). The word ‘shit’ is sometimes considered a strong or obscene term by the Board, when used in an aggressive or repetitive manner, especially when in a medium where it would be likely children could see or hear the advertisement. - - Where the letters ‘S’ ‘H’ ‘I’ and ‘T’ of the word ‘Shnitzel’ are in bold so the word ‘shit’ stands out (Grill’d – 0158/16). The Board acknowledges that some people would prefer certain terms were not used, but when a word is not used aggressively or in a medium where children are likely to be exposed to it, or it is used in a colloquial context which is consistent with Australian vernacular, it will not be considered as a breach of the Code. The Board view is: • There is a greater acceptability of some obscene terms in advertising which is unlikely to be seen or heard by children, where the terms are appropriate to the context of the advertisement or medium. - - A cinema advertisement which was played before an M-rated movie which included the word ‘fuck’ (Roadshow Film Distributors – 0563/16). Advertising which uses the term ‘shit’ is often considered not inappropriate, when consistent with common Australian colloquial usage of such a word. - - A movie promotion which included scenes from the movie including one where a female character says ‘shit’ (Twentieth Century Fox Film Distributers – 0308/16). Obscured terms When offensive terms are beeped or obscured, the Board considers the context of the advertisement and whether the term is sufficiently disguised. In some cases the Board has determined that obscuring a term was not sufficient, and upheld the complaints. The Board’s view is: Where obscene terms have been insufficiently covered in mediums likely to be seen by children they will still be seen to contain strong and obscene language. - - • A poster advertisement with ‘F*ck, that’s delicious’ (SBS Corporation – 0513/16). Where sound effects have been used to cover someone using an obscene term, if they do not sufficiently cover the word and the term is likely to be considered as inappropriate by most members of the community, it will still breach Section 2.5 of the Code. - - Two women yelling at each other with insufficient beeping to cover words like ‘fuck’, ‘shitty’ and ‘bitch’ (Curtain Villa – Kalgoorl Lؤ)ٕѥͥMхɑ́ ɕ