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On the other hand in another advertisement which mentioned Facebook stalking the Board considered that although some people would find the term ‘stalking on Facebook’ to be unpleasant and/or offensive, the intended audience of the advertisement would clearly understand the meaning of the advertisement, and to those who do not readily understand the contemporary meaning of the term the phrase in itself is not inappropriate in the context of the advertisement. Advertisements about social issues such as abortion, euthanasia, religious views and any other social issues are able to be broadcast or published in Australia. It is not the Board’s view to judge whether the messages or points of view expressed in such an advertisement is true. However the Board does have a role in determining whether the overall content and impact of the advertisement meets the requirements of the Codes. During 2011 the Board considered a number of advertisements which made political statements about abortion. While not having a view on whether or not abortion is appropriate, the Board noted that pregnancy termination is a legal procedure. In two advertisements from the same advertiser (0107/11 and 0108/11) the Board considered that one of these ads treated the issue in a manner that was appropriate, while the other breached the Code on health and safety considerations. In relation to the advertisement which declared “one dead one wounded” (0107/11) the Board noted that the subject of abortion is

Review of Operations 2011

emotive and that this advertisement intentionally presented a view of abortion in a manner that is controversial. The Board considered that the advertisement’s suggestion of “one dead one wounded” is a suggestion that is likely to raise questions or concerns for some members of the audience about the safety of abortion. The majority of the Board considered that this suggestion is likely to create misapprehension around a medical procedure which is legally allowed to be performed in Australia and that such a suggestion is contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety. The Board determined that the advertisement did depict material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety. In the other case (0108/11) the Board considered that the text of the advertisement, “Abortion. Your taxes at work in the community” is open to interpretation regarding whether it is a positive or negative message that taxes contribute towards the cost of abortions, and that a political message about how taxes are spent does not of itself breach the Code.

“Other” issues In the interests of the self-regulation system and so that complainants are not left without an entity to consider their complaints, matters raised that are not strictly within Section 2, but are unable to be referred to any other regulatory or self-regulatory body, can be considered by the Board. These other issues may include complaints about the content of an advertisement which include matters raised about social values, common decency and tastelessness. Social values can include matters such as littering, lying, stealing, burping and similar other bodily actions. Tastelessness includes concerns raised about reference to bodily and animal excretions, feminine hygiene matters and other distasteful images. During 2011, two advertisements attracted complaints on the basis of tasteless images or suggestions. In Brownes Foods (0417/11), the Board noted that the advertisement shows a man passing wind and attempting to light it whilst surrounded by fellow party goers. While the Board considered whether the behaviour depicted was dangerous or antisocial the Board ultimately dismissed the complaint on the basis that as the man is presented as “a dipstick” it is less likely that people would want to emulate him.There were no other grounds in the Code on which to uphold the complaint. Similarly a campaign for Libra pads (0302/11) where a man uses his girlfriend’s pads as body armour

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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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