Foxtel apologises for ‘lapse of judgement’ over bestiality billboard and takes it down

Foxtel is pulling down a controversial Studio billboard less than 24 hours after it was erected to promote the relaunch of the arts channel.

The poster – in Sydney’s Kings cross – featured a fictional British prime minister preparing to have sex with a pig. The scene comes from the dark British series Black Mirror. The episode featured the social media storm following the kidnapping of a British princess with the ransom demand that the British PM has sex with the animal live on TV

The subscription TV platform has apologised, labelling the poster “appalling taste” and a lapse of judgement.

sbs pig

black mirror pigThe statement from Foxtel said: “This billboard is part of a campaign by Studio the arts channel produced for Foxtel by SBS. It was intended to provoke, but is clearly in appalling taste and demonstrates a lapse of judgment by Studio and a failure in the approvals process at Foxtel. Once senior management at Foxtel became aware of the nature of the image we instructed Studio to remove and replace the billboard. This will happen as soon as possible. Foxtel regrets any offence that has been caused.”

As Mumbrella revealed this morning, the poster featured an image the the fictional British prime minister preparing to have sex with a pig.

Studio issued its own statement from GM Chris Keely. He said: “While art can sometimes be divisive or provocative, we certainly did not intend to upset anyone with this campaign. We apologise for any offense that was caused by the billboard. We will be immediately replacing it overnight with another piece of our campaign.”

collective shout pigPressure grew throughout the day, with campaign group Collective Shout leading the charge against the ad.

Shortly before Foxtel said the ad was being taken down, the Outdoor Media Association also attacked the poster, which was not on a billboard owned by one of its members. CEO Charmaine Moldrich told Mumbrella: “I’m really surprised it was allowed to go up. It doesn’t matter if it’s promoting art, one of our members would never put up something like that because they’re trained in the code of ethics.

“I don’t believe it complies with section 2.4 of the code, which says Advertising or Marketing Communications shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience. This wasn’t put up by one of my members, but I can say that if it was, it wouldn’t have gone up.”

Other sections the OMA believe the billboard breaks include 2.2, which says Advertising or marketing communications should not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading of any individual or group of people; and 2.6, which says Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety.

An answerphone message at the Advertising Standards Board says the office was closed for the day for staff training.


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