Yesterday (20 November) the Advertising Standards Authority banned an online video For Goodness Shakes that contained multiple visual references to masturbation.
News of the ban prompted several readers to leave comments on Marketing Week.co.uk and on Twitter with most disagreeing with the decision to ban the ad. One, Matthew, wrote: “Very funny and brilliant. It made me laugh for sure. Possibly risqué, but offensive? No way.”
Alex Brooks, marketing director of For Goodness Shakes, told Marketing Week he was “disappointed” with the ruling, pointing out that only one person complained from 1 million people that had viewed the ad.
He argued the ad, which featured multiple shots of men shaking objects within the region of their groins, was “comedic and light hearted” in content and tone and was entirely appropriate for the target market of young males.
“Humorous? Yes. Cheeky? Yes. But we think it was mild in tone,” he adds.
The brand will be careful not to cause offence in the future, Brooks adds, but will not be deterred by the ruling.
“The thing is, we get cut through [by developing “cheeky” content]. We can’t do anything too similar [because of the ban] but we will continue to push boundaries to make sure our ads are exciting and get audience cut through.”
Asked whether the brand could benefit from the ad ban because of the publicity it has attracted, Brooks concedes that in this case it has done the brand no harm.
“If we had received lots of complaints then I might be concerned,” he adds.