ASA orders removal of Channel 4 Six Feet Under billboard posters

Channel 4 has been ordered to take down poster ads for the American TV series Six Feet Under, following complaints. The posters featured “corpses” advertising funeral products.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received nine complaints about the two poster ads- one featuring a man’s naked torso and face and another a woman’s face with glazed opaque eyes and the name: “Fisher & Sons Funeral Home.”

The advertising watchdog has ruled that the poster ads are offensive, shocking and likely to cause undue distress. The ASA was also concerned that people would not understand the intended parody.

The ASA has also ruled against a Maserati UK press ad for placing undue emphasis on speed and encouraging dangerous driving. The text on the ad states: “Just you and the singular note of the V8 engine, the roar of 390bhp, the exhilaration… you drive like there’s no tomorrow.”

A poster ad for Time Out Magazine, which attracted 11 complaints on the grounds that it was offensive to Roman Catholics, has escaped censure from the ASA. The poster featured chat show host Graham Norton standing naked and covering his genital area with a framed photograph of Pope John Paul II. The poster used the tagline: “Holy Saint Patrick’s!”

The ASA acknowledged that the poster did cause offence to some Roman Catholics, but ruled that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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