Ad watchdog upholds complaint against Baywatch trailer for being ‘inappropriate’

An ad for the Baywatch movie featuring Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson has been found to be “inappropriate” by the Advertising Standards Board.

The complaint noted the trailer, which aired at 5.12pm during a PG program, used the word “shit” three times throughout and showed an “inappropriate shower scene”.

During the trailer Johnson says “the truth is one of you will probably die” and Efron claims “Jason Bourne ain’t got shit on me”.

The shower scene shows a male from the waist up, singing while a woman in a red swim suit comes into the shower.

The advertiser responded claiming all TV spots “were bought and placed to target a People 16-39 demographic” and “TV networks in all markets ran all TV spots to comply with the approved Free TV Australia CAD classification”.

The board did not take issue with the semi-nudity however, noting it is implied the man is wearing a swimming costume of some sort.

“The Board noted that the shower scene depicts a woman in a red swimsuit watching as a man sings in the shower. The Board noted that the man is shown from the waist up and considered that the level of nudity was not inappropriate and as the woman is in a swimsuit there is an overall suggestion that the man is also wearing some form of swimwear,” the determination said.

However, the watchdog did uphold the complaint relating to course language arguing that whilst ‘shit’ is part of the common vernacular of many people, others in the community would still find it an inappropriate word to use in advertising which can be seen or heard by children.

“The Board noted however that the use of the word, ‘SHIT’ in this instance has no relevance to the advertised product and considered that its prominent display within areas popular with families amounts to a depiction of language which is not appropriate in the circumstances,” the determination said.

The use of ‘shit’ in the campaign “is likely to be considered inappropriate by many members of the community and in the Board’s view this word could easily have been excluded from the advertisement without affecting the overall promotion of the movie,” the board stated.

The advertiser replied stating the campaign ended two and a half weeks prior to the complaint and the “offending TVC is no longer on air”, so no further action will be taken.


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