15 March 2011
The Tale of Two Ads
This Ad was Banned:
This ad wasn't:
What's the difference between these ads? In the interests of getting to the point, allow me to be utterly subjective: one is really well made, and one isn't.
Which is why I think there's an injustice here.
"Trunk Monkey," above, was banned several years back by Ad Standards Canada because of its moment of violence.
"Step", also above, was Australia's most-complained-about ad last year, but was not banned, because authorities deemed it broke no advertising code.
I don't like either decision: but not (I hope) for reasons you might suspect.
Here's the deal:
"Trunk Monkey" was pulled because it was violent. True enough. But is it likely to corrupt viewers- particularly, one imagines, younger viewers- when the programs this ad sponsors might include graphic violence many (many many) times more disturbing. Applying such hypersensitive standards to ads, but not to programming, is the sign of a regulatory system seriously out-of-sync.
"Step" was not pulled because it was not seen to contravene any provisions of the Ad Standards code.
So the earnest, honest, clever, well-crafted ad is pulled. The low-budget sophomoric sight gag remains on the air.
Choices that are entirely proper, by the letter of the law. But that don't make 'em right.
Posted by Mike Tennant at 9:06 AM