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Health and safety

(Section 2.6, AANA Code of Ethics) In 2011 the proportion of complaints about health and safety issues increased markedly from 9.62 per cent in 2010 to 13.59 per cent. Under section 2.6 of the Code, the Board must uphold complaints about an advertisement where the advertisement or marketing communications ‘depict material that is contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.’ There are no defined ‘community standards’ under this section – rather it is the Board’s role to present its views on what an appropriate community standard is considered to be in relation to a particular issue. Depictions of dangerous behavior in a realistic manner can be of concern under this part of the Code. In particular, images of people riding bicycles without helmets or driving without seat belts are the type of images that will always be considered by the Board to be contrary to community standards on safety. During 2011 images of people hiding in appliances have also been considered to breach community safety standards – In 406/11 (Harvey Norman) a woman hiding in a freezer and in 228/11 (Diesel) a couple making out in a commercial dryer were both determined to be images contrary to the code – complaints were upheld and the advertisements were no longer able to be broadcast. Safety around electrical appliances and electricity is another important issue for the Board. In Australian Gas and Solar (295/11) the image of a baby touching a heater was determined to breach section 2.6 as

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was dangerous use of Christmas lights (481/11). An advertisement would need to be very exaggerated and unrealistic in order for the Board to find that a blatant image of unsafe behavior is acceptable. The depiction of a man base jumping Holden (0076/11) was determined to be acceptable on the basis that: The Board noted the advertiser’s response that the advertisement featured footage of a legally sanctioned BASE jumping event in Kuala Lumpur and that subject to permission being provided or relevant approvals being sought, BASE jumping is a legal activity in Australia. The Board noted that the man performing the base jump in the advertisement is wearing the appropriate clothing and safety equipment to perform the jump. The Board considered it would be preferable for the advertisement to have a short disclaimer or statement about the activity. The Board considered that this depiction was unlikely to encourage people to undertake such activity on their own and did not therefore depict material contrary to prevailing community standards on safety. Despite the Board consistently determining that glamourised images of people smoking also breach section 2.6, complaints were upheld for two advertisements during 2011 including such depictions. Complaints about fashion advertisements for Scotch and Soda (131/11) and One Teaspoon (521/10) were upheld. References to unacceptable behaviour on social media were also considered in a number of cases this year. Although the Board determined that a number

of advertisements did not condone or amount to bullying, the Board found that the endorsement or light hearted treatment of behaviour that is considered socially unacceptable and, in particular for children and teens, is an issue to which there is a lot of public education directed, and is contrary to prevailing community standards on safety. In one case (Vodaphone 334/11) the Board considered the experience of ‘cyber-bullying’ was a real and current concern in Australian society and messages about bullying should not be diluted or undermined. The Board considered that there is significant social concern around appropriate online behaviour and considerable resources directed to teaching children and young adults about appropriate behaviour and how to avoid cyber bullying. The Board considered that in this case the closing caption of the advertisement ...‘power to you, Vodafone’... condones the behaviour depicted. In the Board’s view it was possible that younger people would see the advertisement as condoning or at least giving some legitimacy to the behaviour of posting images without consent and that this is a message that the community views as unacceptable. In an advertisement (Betstar – 0418/11) which referred to stalking on Facebook, the Board noted a number of references to stalking, a mildly sexualised reference to being able to do a variety of things, without having your pants on and a reference to stalking being a victimless crime. The Board considered that while the advertisement was intended to be humorous it noted with concern that stalking is a crime and that it is not a crime that is victimless.

Review of Operations 2011

Advertising Standards Bureau - Review of Operations 2011  

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) administers Australia's national system of self‐regulation in relation to both public and competitor...

Advertising Standards Bureau - Review of Operations 2011  

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) administers Australia's national system of self‐regulation in relation to both public and competitor...

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