Streaming service Stan in its first ad watchdog defeat over language in SMILF trailer

TV streaming service Stan has had its ad for US comedy SMILF banned by the ad watchdog over use of the term “full frontal, dick and peen”.

The ruling is the first time a complaint against Stan has been upheld by the Ad Standards Board.

Stan is jointly owned by Nine and Fairfax.

The SMILF ad aired on Nine Now’s digital catchup service during real estate show ‘Flip or Flop’ and comedy ‘Kath & Kim’. It triggered complaints that it was inappropriate for the audience of those shows.

The ad features SMILF’s director, writer and star Frankie Shaw, explaining five reasons why people should watch the comedy drama about a single mother’s dating life.

“There is a lot of male nudity, there’s a lot of full frontal, a lot of dick, full frontal peen, long fat peen,” Shaw says as one of her five reasons.

Responding to the complaints, Stan argued that use of the words “dick” and “peen” reflected the tone of SMILF but did not employ “a tone of overt or obscene sexuality”.

“These words are in common use throughout Australia and are not inconsistent with prevailing community standards, particularly in the opt-in environment of on-demand viewing,” Stan argued.

The ad watchdog said the programs Flip or Flop, which is rated G, and Kath & Kim which is rated PG, were likely to have an audience of children and therefore the words “dick” and “peen” were inappropriate.

“The Board considered that the advertisement did use strong, language for the circumstances in a manner that is inappropriate particularly given the relevant audience would include children.”

Commenting on the ban, Stan partly blamed the issue on the platform provided by is owner Nine, saying: “There are specific advertising challenges in relation to placement of advertisements within video-on-demand, as providers may not guarantee advertisements within certain programs or timeslots.”

Despite the Ad Standards Board receiving 12 complaints about Stan since 2015, this is the first complaint which has been upheld.

In 2015 Stan escaped a ban for its innuendo-laden first television ad which featured then brand ambassador Rebel Wilson stating “me and my big pussy love it”.

At the time viewers said the ad was “vulgar”, “offensive” and “degrading” despite the ad watchdog dismissing the complaints.

In the same year the streaming service escaped another ruling for using the term “Pussy Galore” when promoting the availability of its James Bond movies.

Stan was not the only advertiser to have an obscenity complaint upheld against it in the December rulings, with another finding against NT Official – which is not actually anything to do with Tourism NT. A member of the public complained about a “CU in the NT” sticker on the back of a vehicle.

“The wording used in the advertisement would be viewed by a broad audience and used language that is not appropriate in the circumstances including for the relevant audience,” the Ad Standards Board ruled.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.