Ad watchdog orders withdrawal of Ali G Indahouse poster campaign

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered that posters be pulled for the film Ali G Indahouse after a barrage of complaints.

The United International Pictures (UIP) film, which features Sacha Baron-Cohen playing his alter ego Ali G, has been promoted with a 1,500-site nationwide poster campaign showing Ali G with his hand on a woman’s bottom and the tagline “Tax Da Panty”.

As a result of the ruling, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) will now pre-vet all poster ads for UIP films for the next two years. This does not apply to newspaper and magazine advertising.

The ASA received 109 complaints about the poster, on the basis that the image was offensive and not suitable for children. The image was created by Curio, with media through Media Edge. Primesight was the only poster site contractor to accept the banned poster. It is believed the campaign was only booked for one week’s duration.

UIP president of international marketing David Livingstone says: “I think that it is an over-reaction and we don’t think we have acted wrongly. I have seen worse in shower commercials and ice cream advertisements.”

He adds that the campaign has been a victim of the furore surrounding Ali G’s recent appearance on Sara Cox’s Radio 1 breakfast show, when the comedian used foul language.

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