Cougar dating ad too ‘violent’ rules ASB

A TV ad for online dating company has been banned after the ad watchdog found the commercial contain unjustified “violence” by an older “cougar” against younger women.

The Ad Standards Board said  the commercial, in which a woman explains that older women know that they want young guys and literally pushing younger women out of her way to get them, depicted violence “not justified in the context of the service being advertised.”

The ASB also noted that a “minority of the board considered that the way the woman struts around and approaches the young women is humorous and that most members of the community would be able to identify with the staged and fabricated way the advertisement is intended to be portrayed.”

However, “the majority of the board considered that two scenes in the advertisement depicted a woman committing a violent act against another woman. The majority of the Board considered that in a bar or licensed venue, such aggressive behaviour is not considered humorous or acceptable.”

The complaint to the ASB did not focus on violence instead telling the board: ” I found the ad very offensive, as it depicts an older women inferring that the men in the ad would be better ‘taken care of’ by her, rather than the younger women. It seemed to suggest that she would be a better ‘mate’ for the men in the ad than the younger women. Such a sexually suggestive ad should not be on that early in the evening when young and impressionable kids would still be watching TV. The ad would be better suited to an ‘adults only’ channel, as apposed to one that is showing movies at that time of night!” failed to respond to the complaint and to the ruling and the ASB will “liaise with Free TV to have the CAD number revoked and the advertisement will no longer be aired on Australian Free TV.”

The ASB also rule against a Northern Territory golf club ad for Club Eastwood, in Alice Springs. The board found against the ad due to the use of lyrics ‘all my troubles fade away’ being juxtaposed against images of gambling and drinking.

The TV spot featured images of the Club Eastwood bar, lotto tickets and racing on a TV screen set against lyrics ‘all my troubles seem to fade away’.

A complaint to the ASB read: “Club Eastside – Alice Springs is promoting its gambling/alcohol venue while playing ‘all my troubles seem to fade away’ in the background. I think it’s unacceptable to for this venue to be promoting alcohol and gambling and associating it with ‘taking your troubles away’ – this goes against the very fact that gambling and alcohol are serious addictions, especially in the areas these ads are displayed.”

Club Eastside defended the spot, telling the watchdog: “Club Eastside had no intention of promoting gambling and alcohol addictions with our commercials. They are all CAD approved.”

The board noted: “That although the advertisement does not in any other way suggest or encourage irresponsible gambling and drinking per se, the juxtaposition of these activities in connection with the song amounts to a suggestion for viewers that personal troubles can be alleviated by consuming alcohol and gambling.”

It ruled: “In the Board‟s view this suggestion is a depiction of material that is contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.”

The Club Eastwood as had since been removed from air and modified to remove the lyrics in the background music.

“We hope that this now meets the standards of ASB,” Club Eastwood said.

Miranda Ward 


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