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‘Offensive’ Navman radio ad terminated for portraying abuse towards men

The advertising watchdog has banned a Navman Father’s Day radio advertisement for “abusive” language towards men, following a decision by ASB in December to ensure husbands are not portrayed negatively as a group.

Airing solely on Australian Radio Network stations, Navman’s ad featured a woman criticising the driving of her male partner by calling him an “idiot” before promoting Navman’s GPS.

A complaint to the Advertising Standards Board said the ad is “offensive and abusive” noting domestic violence is not just physical but “verbal and mental” as well.

Responding to the complaint, Navman apologised for offending the public explaining the ad was intended to “actually make drivers maybe have a little giggle at the satirical” scene.

“This advert was a satirical exaggeration to try and represent a typical scene in the car between a male and female partner who may argue about driving styles, we internally refer to these in car arguments as CARGUMENTS.

“We were deliberate to only hear the female’s voice so as it hinted at an argument or nagging rather than playing a two sided argument.”

The Board concluded the man in the ad is most likely the woman’s husband and therefore the tone used by the female is “aggressive”.

Due to her “abusive” delivery of the word “idiot”, the Board said the radio ad portrayed violence in an unjustifiable way.

The Board upheld the complaint for using inappropriate language and insinuating violence.

“We deeply regret airing a radio advert that may have caused anyone concern. Our intention was not to offend or suggest that verbal abuse was an acceptable form of behaviour from anyone,” Navman said in response to the ruling.

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