iSelect’s stunt double spot breaches Ad Standards for violence

Ad Standards has found a recent iSelect TVC featuring a stuntman who compares himself to Chris Hemsworth in breach of the AANA Code of Ethics, Section 2.3 Violence.

The spot, created for the insurance marketplace by agency Fenton Stephens, received a number of complaints citing concerns with the representation of violence, particularly in the context of a story of ‘one punch’ violence that had featured in the news programming that the campaign was placed alongside.

The complaints centre around a scene in the ad where the stunt double is “surrounded by men who hit him until he is lying on the ground”.

One of the complaints read: “Gratuitous and graphic violence. In prime time TV. Especially just after a one punch story of someone dying from one punch. Disgusting!”

In responding to the complaints, iSelect posed that the spot was “intentionally dramatised and represents the set of a ‘Hollywoodstyle’ blockbuster film” and thus is made clear to the audience that the scene is not real, but a series of stunts.

However, while the Panel did acknowledged that the spot depicted a fantasy scenario, it considered that because “the fight appears realistic with sounds of blows landing and people grunting” the combat scene would be seen by the average person to be violent.

Moreover, as the scene was not justifiable in the context of the product or service provided by iSelect and thus was in breach of the Code.

iSelect complied with the determination, with a spokesperson stating: “While we are disappointed with the outcome, we respect the decision and can confirm that both advertisements will be discontinued effective as of midnight 28th June 2022. For the period 29 – 30th June 2022 inclusive we will run an alternative advertisement from the same series which has aired previously. ”


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