Complaint: 14/295

Vodafone Television


A. Hansen
No Grounds to Proceed
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document


A. Hansen
Vodafone NZ
Vodafone Television
6 June 2014
No Grounds to Proceed

Complaint: In the television advertisement for Vodafone Supernet network, all the people in the advertisement have bowl cut hairstyles except one. One of the men with a bowl cut asks the man without the style:

"What's up with your hair? Didn't' you get my message?"

The scene then cuts to television presenter Mark Sainsbury, who also has a bowl cut, and stated:

"Yes, it's the bowl cut. The fashion phenomenon that's taken New Zealand and the world by storm."

The next scene shows a teenager with a sieve on his head while another person cuts his hair into the bowl cut. Various other scenes showed other New Zealanders all with bowl cuts giving instructions of how to achieve the hairstyle such as 'Step 1. Put a bowl on your head ...'

The advertisement ended with the voiceover that stated: "Don't miss out. Stay connected on the Vodafone supernet...."

Complainant, A. Hansen, said: "... You have an advert on channel two about new trends and a step by step instruction on how to give yourself a bowl cut. Now I have nothing against bowl cuts but when it come to daughter and finding her with a bowl and a pair of scissors ready to cut her hair because the TV said it's the new trend is not on, and I don't think I'm the only parent worried about the day this will happen without us parents knowing ..."

The relevant provisions were Basic Principle 4 and Rule 12 of the Code of Ethics

The Chairman noted the Complainant's concern that children would copy the advertisement and cut their hair.

The Chairman said the advertisement contained light-hearted and humorous scenes of how the supposed bowl cut hairstyle had swept the world via Vodafone Supernet network.

The Chairman was of the view that the advertisement relied on the element of humour with everyone having the bowl cut hairstyle to illustrate the pervasiveness of communication connectivity provided by the network. While she acknowledged some of the scenes showed hair being cut into the style by people at home using a kitchen bowl and scissors, she said the advertisement did not reach the threshold to be said to encourage a disregard for safety and it did not visually represent any illegal practices or situations.

Considering the above, the Chairman said the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers said the advertisement was not in breach of Basic Principle 4 or Rule 12 of the Code of Ethics and there was no apparent breach of Advertising Codes.

Accordingly, the Chairman ruled that there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed