Your leader on shock tactics (MW March 15) rightly concluded that real creativity requires something more than sensationalism. In doing so, however, it gave the impression that there are no impediments to the use of shock tactics. Not so.
Three years ago, the poster industry and CAP (which writes the codes that the ASA administers) introduced a poster pre-vetting procedure whereby poster advertisers which are judged to cause offence can be forced to pre-vet their posters past the CAP copy advice team for up to two years.
This is no idle threat. Currently, 13 are obliged to pre-vet, including Gossard and Yves St Laurent, which you mention in your leader.
Advertisers, or their agencies, which are thinking about deliberately courting notoriety with an offensive poster campaign should think again. Two years in the sin bin and self-regulation won’t seem quite so fusty and ineffectual.