Sugar joins the ad rule-breakers

Unfortunately for an ice-cream maker, a car dealership and the national savings campaign, it is not just the revenues of adverts that are dropping.

According to its latest rulings Britain’s ad watchdog has found fault with content from the first two, and dropped them, while the latter’s has gone before it was pushed.

It banned an advert for Antonio Federici Gelato ice cream, which ran in Delicious and Sainsbury’s Magazine, for showing a priest and nun about to kiss.

The ad, showing the priest wearing rosary beads and holding a pot of ice cream above the slogan ‘Kiss temptation’, was “likely to cause serious offence,” the ASA said.

It rejected Antonio Federici’s claim that it was a “tongue-in-cheek portrayal,” saying the two appeared in a “sexualised manner,” constituting a breach of decency rules.

A ban on the advert reappearing in its current form was also the watchdog’s order to a car dealer in Bognor Regis, for using the ‘m-word’ in its latest promo.

Once again the ASA failed to see the funny side, which the dealership said its ad wanted to convey by stating “If you don’t go to Bognor Motors, you must be mental.”

The authority upheld the complaint by the Capital Project Trust, a charity, which complained that the ad was “offensive to those with mental health problems.”

Heading it off from the claws of the watchdog, the National Savings and Investments campaign this week dropped Sir Alan Sugar from its advertisements.

Continuing to use Sir Alan, who was recently appointed enterprise champion, would represent a conflict with his new role.

The NS&I reportedly added: “Cabinet Office rules prohibit the use of political figures in government advertising.”

Meanwhile, the tycoon’s TV job on The Apprentice is safe, as his role as a state adviser would not “compromise the BBC’s impartiality,” the corporation says.


10th July 2009

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