ASA bans ‘big hits’ ad fro Atlantic 252 radio

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a poster advertisement for national commercial radio station Atlantic 252 after receiving more than 20 complaints.

The poster depicts a stereo radio with two round, enlarged speakers above the copy: “Longwave radio has the biggest hits.”

“Schoolboy humour” is how Atlantic 252 commercial director Andy Hawkins describes the advertisement. The fact that it has been banned is “outrageous”, he claims.

“The aim was to boost awareness of the station with a sense of humour,” Hawkins adds. “It was never designed to be taken seriously by anybody – a bit like the station: Atlantic 252 is very much an entertainment service.”

The campaign, created by Manifesto, ran in London and other cities for two weeks in August. Although it has since finished, Hawkins says he would have liked to use it again after research showed it boosted awareness and is likely to have increased listening.

“I find it outrageous that our ad is banned when a number of other campaigns are not,” he says. “Ads like the current poster campaign for Berlei bras [featuring a skipping rope shaped like sagging breasts] and Hamlet [which features a hand ‘giving the finger’] are OK but ours is not. It’s bizarre.”

l Fifty-four complaints about the Peperami ad showing a stick of Peperami hurling itself against a cheese grater – including allegations that children might be distressed or even emulate what happens to the animated sausage – were not upheld.

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