ASA cracks down on Stern posters

Religious and community organisations were among more than 220 complainants who contacted the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a poster and print ad campaign for shock jock Howard Stern’s TV chat show on cable TV channel Bravo.

The ASA has upheld a series of complaints against Bravo in its latest monthly report on the basis that lines featured in the £1m ad campaign for The Howard Stern Show were likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Created by Mother, both print and posters featured quotes from the show, including: “It’s OK for a man to commit adultery if his wife is ugly”. Bravo will now have to submit future poster campaigns for pre-vetting.

The ASA has also upheld a complaint against press ads for the Honda Civic which claim the car is made in Swindon, on the grounds that all models of the car are not manufactured in the UK.

Honda is refusing demands by the ASA to change the wording of the press campaign created by CDP.

It claims that copy was submitted to the Committee of Advertising Practice for advice prior to the launch of the £15m press, poster and TV campaign which centres around the Swindon theme.

Crispin Reed, director of the Honda account at CDP, says: “Honda’s policy is to pre-submit all advertising to the ASA and no fault was found with the ads at the time. Honda and CDP are both talking to the ASA about this.”

The complaint came from a member of the public in the West Midlands.

The ASA also upheld a complaint against Whitbread over a poster for its Source vodka drink, which showed a waiter floating face-down in a swimming pool with his back being used as a table for bottles of the drink. The ASA said the ad was likely to cause offence because it trivialised death.

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