Dr Mumbo

Dr Mumbo’s favourite ‘whingy’ ASB complaints

Dr Mumbo always loves a good laugh and the Ad Standards Board monthly release of complaints it has adjudicated on always provide at least one…or a few.

While most of the serious coverage goes to the stuff that’s been banned, the comments of ‘ordinary’ members of the public make for far more entertaining reading.

For instance, who could think Presto’s dancing dad is “sexually suggestive”?

Well this guy did:

“When the father is dancing in front of his daughter and her friend his dancing is sexually suggestive and the children are obviously depicted to be in their young teen years. His manner of dancing in front of the children is offensive in its nature and the scene gives rise to a sense of paedophilia. For an adult male to dance in that way directly in front of (not just in the general view) of two young girls can only be labelled as perverted and almost criminally sexually suggestive.”

Snickers attracted international attention with its ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ stunt which saw the brand recruit a group of actors posing as construction works to stage a candid-camera-style experiment to demonstrate the slogan and it seems that viewers locally weren’t so pleased with it either.

“There were two main things that I’d object to, the first being the allusion that it is socially acceptable and normal to cat-call women and harass them (which was implied when they say “you’re not you when you’re hungry.”) and that treating women equally and respectfully is not the socially accepted thing to do. (Once again, their kindness was attributed to not being themselves.),” one viewer told the ASB.

“The second is the misrepresentation of an important part of our community – the builders themselves. This stereotypes all of them, making them out to be sexist and rude without any real depth. Their kindness being attributed to not being themselves is also a direct insult to them, implying that they’re unable to be this way. In this I see the objectification of people, the promotion of unsafe behaviour and the disregard for social values. I find both misogyny and misandry in this”

Primo’s pastiche of American Beauty to promote its bacon also wasn’t safe from viewers, with one viewer complaining to the ASB that it made him feel “uncomfortable”.

“Disgusting, its offence, it’s weird, it makes me feel uncomfortable and it’s a waste of food.”

While another viewer said:

“It also pays no respect to the pigs that were sent to slaughter and died to produce the meat for this advertisement.”

And a third simply described it as “gross”.

“It’s gross, Children could see it, the ad is offensive on many levels, it shows a a food product in sexual manner, it is inappropriate for the items being sold, the timing it during a family friendly show, the whole ad.”

And Snickers continued to attract trouble with someone managing to find something wrong with the Ray Meagher (Home and Away’s Alf) fronted ad in its ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ campaign.

“The advertisement disparages the appearance of an old person. It’s ageist.”

Nissan’s X-trail ad as part of its ‘Family Proof’ campaign also attracted the ire of a viewer…our guess is he’s a farmer.

The complaint was short and sweet.

“Suv driving in crop and breaking it down.”

A complainant’s complaint against Canadian Club’s “snowball in the face” campaign suggests they haven’t seen both executions of the ad. The campaign consists of two commercials which both take place in “typical ‘beer’ drinking environments”.

This is the ad complained about:

“I find this advertisement offensive for various reasons. I believe that in a culture that is already inherently sexist, it is inciting violence and degrading treatment against women to have a man throw something in her face and portray her as having enjoyed it. I believe that the imagery is deliberately constructed to represent the adult film industry where women are often subjected to what is colloquially known as ‘money shots’, and I strongly suspect that in a product predominantly consumed by men that was the desired effect. Such imagery aside, I do not think it should be allowed to have a man commit an act of violence against a women, a stranger in that context, and have it played off as she wanted it to happen and she liked it. “

If they’d seen the other execution perhaps they wouldn’t have complained…

Booking.com always makes entertaining ads but for some a scene of paintball is just too much…

“The high powered black weapons that are used by all the male and female characters and the Team Leader. The weapons are frightening and violent and intimidating and promote war fare and killing and targetting of vulnerable individuals in a forest setting. There is blood spurting everywhere and blood all over their black vests.

They are killing each other with violent weapons. It is not team building in a positive manner but a destructive and frightening manner. This team building promotes loss of life by war fare. It is like gang war fare training not positive training. And how does this advertisment relate to holiday bookings? It is bloody war fare.”

Dr Mumbo would also like to note that it’s only June and he sure there will be more interesting complaints soon.

You can also read some of last year’s best complaints here.


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