Vodafone Television Advertisement
27 June 2005
Complainant: C. White and Others
Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Ltd
Complaint: The cartoon genre television advertisement showed six "naked" adults playing volley ball. Each depiction had the private areas covered with bold black rectangles. The voice-over said: "Nothing beats being free. So, now texting is free between Vodafone mobiles, every weekend, only on Vodafone.
Complainant, C. White, said the advertisement, which showed "naked people with a small black square hardly covering up their private parts" was pornographic, disgusting, offensive and not appropriate "to advertise free texting on your phone."
Duplicate Complainants expressed similar concerns and also raised the issue of suitability of the images for child viewers.
The relevant provision was the Code of Ethics, Rule 5.
The Chairman noted the opinions of the complainants. Turning to the advertisement, she observed that the people shown were in cartoon form and all private body parts were covered. She also noted that the Complainants had seen the advertisement after 6pm during the news, which was not directed at children due to the nature of some of the issues shown, or PGR (Parental Guidance Required) or Adult viewing time. Accordingly, in her view, the advertisement, which was humorous in nature, had been shown with a due sense of social responsibility and did not meet the threshold to cause either serious or widespread offence in the light of generally prevailing community standards. As such there was no apparent breach of the Advertising Codes.
The Chairman ruled to not accept the complaint.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint Not Accepted