ASA backs Five’s The Matrix ‘swearword’ ad

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided not to uphold complaints against a Five poster for using a swearword and being unsuitable for children. The poster advertised the film The Matrix and used the tagline: “Special is too small a word for effects like these. Fanbleedingtastic would be closer.”

The ASA has ruled that on the basis of The Broadcasting Standard Commission’s research, “Fanbleedingtastic” is not an offensive word, though it does not accept Five’s argument that because children are subject to more offensive language in the media it was justified in using the word.

â¢A complaint against Mazda Motors’ Mazda 6 Diesel car has also escaped the ASA’s censure. The complainant objected that the press ad, created by J Walter Thompson, put undue emphasis on speed and encouraged dangerous driving. According to the ASA, the ad highlighted the car’s economy and not its speed. However, in September, Mazda Motors was rapped by the ASA for glamorising speed and condoning fast driving in a Mazda 323 sports car ad (MW September 26).

â¢The advertising watchdog has upheld 71 complaints received against train operator Midland Mainline’s direct mailer, which was sent to consumers as a spoof parking ticket. The ASA ruled that because of the prominent copy which said “Parking Offence Notice” and its presentation in a plastic sleeve, the mailing was likely to cause distress to those who did not realise that it was advertising material. The advertisers have been asked not to repeat the approach.

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