Tourism Australia’s controversial “Where the bloody hell are you?” ads have been banned from TV until after the watershed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) because of concerns over harm to children.
The &£76m global campaign ran into problems in the UK before it was broadcast after the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) refused to clear the wording, on the grounds that “bloody” was offensive (MW March 16).
Tourism Australia and agency M&C Saatchi appealed against the decision, claiming the word “bloody” was not offensive and was an accepted part of the Australian vernacular. The BACC gave the campaign the go-ahead but restricted it from being shown around religious or children’s programmes.
But after 36 complaints the ASA has ruled that “bloody” is offensive to some viewers. It adds that parents have the right either to expect that pre-watershed ads do not contain swearing or that there are warnings about potentially offensive content.
â¢ The ASA is furious that Carphone Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone incorrectly leaked elements of its ruling on the company’s Talk Talk ads on a blog.
The ASA says Dunstone is wrong to claim it cleared the company to use the word “free”. The ASA has ordered Talk Talk not to use the ads or the word “free” without clearance from the CAP Copy Advice Team.