An ad featuring a battered woman with mascara being applied to her face by a dog’s paw has been banned by the advertising watchdog for using unjustified graphic violence.
The billboard for Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania was taken down after a single complaint was made by a parent of two children.
The complaint read: “My five and four-year old boys become distressed and are afraid to look at the billboard. They, along with me, find the billboard disturbing and scary. It makes them cry and cover their eyes as they are worried about the women and what’s happened to her.”
The ASB ruled that while the advertiser had a valid message to be broadcast, “the graphic nature of this ad is not warranted on a billboard where it could be seen by children. In the Board’s view the ad presents violence in a manner that is not justifiable in the context of the product being advertised.”
AACT objected to the ruling. Chris Simcox, the group’s coordinator, told Mumbrella in a statement:
We are concerned that the ASB has forced us to remove the billboard on the basis of a single complaint. We have had the billboard in circulation for 12 months with only positive responses otherwise. It is important that this message can be publicised and the ASB’s determination means we are unable to continue to deliver the message to the people that need to see it.
The nature of the animal testing is disturbing and very violent. The general public do not see what horrors go on behind closed doors to get cosmetics and personal products onto the market. We think that a billboard with a graphic image is justified. We believe consumers need to know the suffering that is contained in the products they are buying.