8 September 2021, 08:42
An advertisement for online novelty retailer Banter King, which featured images of mugs with “seriously offensive” slogans, was banned after it appeared on the Sky Sports app.
The online ad featured mugs emblazoned with the phrases “Cock Hungry Whore,” “My Son Is AC ***, He Gets It From His Dad” and “Live, Laugh, Tosser.”
One viewer, who saw the promotion on April 27, complained that it was likely to cause a serious or widespread offense and that it had been irresponsibly targeted.
After launching an investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decided that words like “c ***” were so likely to offend that they should never be used in marketing “even if they were. relevant to the product, unless they are very carefully targeted to an audience that is not likely to be offended by them. “
The UK advertising regulator said: “We further considered that the words ‘cock’ and ‘damn’ were swear words which were also likely to seriously offend the general public.”
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Sky told the ASA that such ads would generally not be allowed on its Sports app, which is considered to have content suitable for all ages.
She added that the release of the ad was not the result of a proactive scheduling decision.
However, despite having a strong blocklist in place and rules that generally prevent inappropriate or offensive ads from being displayed, content that does not live up to its standards can sometimes pass through its filters, what happened in this case.
Banter Group has said it has no intention of offending and will be stricter on how and where it places ads in the future.
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ASA said: “The Sky Sports app was rated as having content suitable for all ages, and we felt it was likely to appeal to a wide audience.
“The advertiser did not provide any information on how they targeted their advertising or whether they used interest-based criteria to do so.
“We therefore concluded that the advertisement was likely to cause a serious or widespread offense and had not been responsibly targeted.”
He also ruled that the promotion should no longer appear in the form complained of, adding: “We have told Banter Group to take care to avoid committing a serious or widespread infringement in the future and to ensure that their ads are properly targeted. “