Ad watchdog slaps Bouris for violent Yellow Brick Road commercial

Yellow Brick Road Slap ad

A Mark Bouris-fronted ad for his financial services company Yellow Brick Road has been banned by the advertising watchdog because of its depiction of violence.

The company has apologised for the offence it caused.

The ad, created by DCB Advertising, features people being slapped with the message “Give someone a super slap”.

As Mumbrella reported last month, the Ad Standards Board received several complaints about the ad, which features an old lady slapping a young man and a toddler slapping a woman just before Bouris presents his message to the camera.

Bouris is best known for his role on The Celebrity Apprentice.

According to one complaint: “The child slapping his carer’s face, a male slapping a woman, is to myself and my family abuse of women and should not be shown on television. It fails to describe the offering, but rather shows an inappropriate attitude towards women. Of particular offence is the noise which the child slaps his carer. It is consistent with a significant connection to the carer’s face. I do not condone violence towards women, but this ad appears to make it acceptable.”

Yellow Brick Road told the ASB: “The term to ‘slap’ someone is a common Australian metaphor for a ‘wake up call’ to an event, situation or understanding. This metaphor is used regularly across a very broad cross section of the community.

bouris and pram“The intention of the advertisement is to present this ‘wake-up’ in a confronting but slapstick form of comedy. The exaggerated behaviors of the actors, along with who they are (A baby and an elderly person as the protagonists) reinforce this act as comedy. We are facing a very real savings shortfall of catastrophic proportions as a nation that to a large extent is being ignored. It’s why we have Mark Bouris speaking seriously to the audience on this issue after the initial slapstick comedy that creates the attention for the serious message.”

But the ASB ruled: “The Board noted that there is genuine community concern regarding violence and the portrayal of violence in advertising and that the use of slapping in an advertisement to promote a superannuation product has no relevance and is not justifiable in the context of the product being advertised.”

The company told the ASB: “Yellow Brick Road apologizes for the offense created to these viewers.”

Tim Burrowes


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