Another ad censured by watchdog because ‘domestic violence isn’t funny’

The ad watchdog has taken a stand against a second ad which attempted to use domestic violence against men as the punch line.

The radio ad for Tamar Hire which promotes mini excavators was found to have breached the Advertising Standards Bureau’s Advertiser Code of Ethics for its inference of domestic violence and “suggestion of menace”.

The audio depicts a woman calling Tamar Hire to get rid of the rubbish sitting in her back yard because her husband is too busy to help, while in the background listensers can hear the muffled voice of a man who seems to be gagged and struggling.

Towards the end of the ad a man calls for help before a voiceover says “When things look dire, call Tamar Hire”.

The complainant stated: “Domestic violence isn’t funny, and allowing it to be used for comic relief in advertising is not only irresponsible and dangerous, it minimises the issues those in domestic violence situations experience as humorous.”

The ad watchdog condemned the advertisement, noting violence can be suggested without actually being directly depicted.

“The Board considered that the overall impression, and clear inference in the advertisement, is that the wife has trapped the husband in some way and that he may be the ‘rubbish’ that she us intending to get rid of in the backyard,” the Advertising Standards Board said.

“The Board noted the serious community concern relating to domestic violence and violence in general, and considered that the advertisement did not portray violence in a manner that was justifiable in the context of an equipment hire business and therefore did breach Section 2.3 of the Code.”

Tamar Hire responded by saying it never meant any offence and was just trying to target women in a male-dominated industry.

“This radio advertisement was never supposed to come across as violent or promote domestic violence or even use domestic violence as comic relief to promote our machinery hire. All we had intended was to advertise that in the male-dominated industry women do call to enquire as well as hire big/small pieces of machinery.

“We do understand after reading the woman’s complaint that it has been taken the wrong way and we are already in the process of eliminating/changing this advertisement so as not to cause any further offence,” the brand said in its response.

The advertisement has since been discontinued.



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