Complaint: 17/035

Village Roadshow Ltd, Television

Details

Complainants
advertisers
Village Roadshow Ltd
Year
2017
Media
Television
Product
Entertainment
Clauses
Decision
Not Upheld
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document

Document





COMPLAINT NUMBER
17/035
COMPLAINANT
T Carmody
ADVERTISER
Village Roadshow Ltd
ADVERTISEMENT
Village Roadshow Ltd, Television
DATE OF MEETING
28 February 2017
OUTCOME
Not Upheld


SUMMARY

The television advertisement promoting a film called "Red Dog True Blue" includes short
clips from the film. The film is set on a cattle station in Western Australia. One of the
excerpts shows a man saying "Where's my bloody shaving cream?" In the following shot is a
dog, which appears to have shaving cream on its face.
The Complainant said they were appalled an advertisement which contained the swear word
"bloody" would be played during a children's television programme.
The Advertiser said the advertisement received a "G" Commercial Approval Bureau (CAB)
rating and the word "bloody" was used purely as "an intensifier (to intensify the comedy
where the dog steals the shaving cream)". The Advertiser said the advertisement is no
longer running.
The Media said the film was classified PG by the film censor. The Media said unless footage
dictates otherwise PG rated movies are normally given General ratings by CAB. The Media
said the word "bloody" is a fairly common Australian expression and, in the context of this
advertisement, is not said in an intimidating way.
A majority of the Complaints Board agreed the word "bloody" was used in a non-threatening
way, in a humorous context, and did not reach the threshold required to cause serious or
widespread offence. Therefore the advertisement did not breach Basic Principle 4 or Rule 5
of the Code of Ethics.

A minority of the Complaints Board said the placement of the advertisement, in the morning,
during children's programming, was inappropriate and a breach of the Code of Ethics.

In accordance with the majority, the Complaints Board ruled to Not Uphold the complaint.

[No further action required]

Please note this headnote does not form part of the Decision.




COMPLAINTS BOARD
DECISION

The Chair directed the Complaints Board to consider the advertisement with reference to
Basic Principle 4 and Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics. This required the Complaints Board to



17/035
consider whether the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social
responsibility to consumers and to society and whether it contained anything which is likely
to cause serious or widespread offence..

The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

The Complaint
The Complainant said they were appalled an advertisement which contained the swear word
"bloody" was played during a children's television programme.
The Advertiser's Response
The Advertiser said the advertisement received a "G" CAB rating and the word "bloody" was
used purely as "an intensifier (to intensify the comedy where the dog steals the shaving
cream)". The Advertiser said the advertisement is no longer running.
The Media's Response
The Media said the film was classified PG by the film censor. The Media said unless footage
dictates otherwise PG rated movies are normally given General ratings by CAB. The Media
said the word "bloody" is a fairly common Australian expression and, in the context of this
advertisement, is not said in an intimidating way.
Precedents
To assist in coming to its decision the Complaints Board reviewed a precedent decision,
Complaint 11/624, which was ruled "No Grounds to Proceed". This complaint concerned a
television advertisement for Weight Watchers. In its decision, the Chair agreed that the use
of the phrase "cheeky bugger" was "light-hearted humorous intent and did not reach the
threshold to cause serious or widespread offence".

The Complaints Board Discussion
Having considered all the information provided, the Complaints Board turned to consider
whether the advertisement had breached Basic Principle 4 or Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics.

Was the use of the word "bloody" likely to cause serious or widespread offence?
A majority of the Complaints Board agreed the word "bloody" was used in a non-threatening
way, in a humorous context, and did not reach the threshold required to cause serious or
widespread offence.

A minority of the Complaints Board said the placement of the advertisement, in the morning,
during children's programming, was inappropriate. The minority said young viewers during
this time slot were likely to be unsupervised. The word "bloody" is number 29 on the list of
"Unacceptable Words on Television and Radio", published by the Broadcasting Standards
Authority.

Therefore, in accordance with the majority, the Complaints Board agreed the advertisement
was had been prepared with the requisite sense of social responsibility. The Complaints
Board ruled the advertisement was not in breach of Basic Principle 4 or Rule 5 of the Code
of Ethics.

The Complaints Board ruled the Complaint was Not Upheld.


Decision
: Complaint Not Upheld




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17/035


DESCRIPTION OF ADVERTISEMENT

The television advertisement promoting a film called "Red Dog True Blue" includes short
excerpts from the film. The film is set on a cattle station in Western Australia. One of the
excerpts shows a man saying "Where's my bloody shaving cream?" In the following shot is a
dog, which appears to have shaving cream on its face.
COMPLAINT FROM T CARMODY
The reasons that I found this programme breached the standards:
While watching this programme this morning with my grandsons aged 3 and 6 you played a
trailer for a programme called Red Dog.
The phrase was "where's my bloody ...."
I find it appalling that you would broadcast a swear word during a children's television
programme.

I'm also appalled and disappointed that a children's programme. Namely the above
mentioned Red Dog would even include swearing.

Those of us who care about our young people should be protecting them from bad language
and upholding higher standards.

CODE OF ETHICS

Basic Principle 4: All advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social
responsibility to consumers and to society.

Rule 5: Offensiveness - Advertisements should not contain anything which in the
light of generally prevailing community standards is likely to cause serious or
widespread offence taking into account the context, medium, audience and product
(including services).

CODE FOR ADVERTISING TO CHILDREN

Principle 1: Advertisements should be prepared with and observe a high standard of
social responsibility.

RESPONSE FROM ADVERTISER: VILLAGE ROADSHOW

RED DOG: True Blue is an iconic Australian movie that released in NZ cinemas on January
1. The movie explores the early events leading up to the discovery of Red Dog and the Red
Dog legend. The movie has received a "PG" classification rating from the Classification
Board in NZ with a consumer advice warning of "Coarse Language".

The complaint relates to the TVC with key number RDT 19575 15 NZ and in particular the
use of the word "bloody" within the creative.

This particular TVC is no longer running on air, however it received a "G" CAB rating for use
on NZ television. The use of the word "bloody" in the tvc was not malicious/ threatening in
any way and it's use was purely an intensifier (to intensify the comedy where the dog steals
Bryan Browns shaving cr?me). Our intention was in no way to offend viewers.


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17/035
RESPONSE FROM MEDIA: COMMERCIAL APPROVALS BUREAU
The Red Dog True Blue film was classified PG by the film censor. Within the trailer for this
iconic Australian movie the word 'bloody' is used by Bryan Brown when the dog steals his
shaving cream. A fairly common Australian expression, it is not said in an intimidating way.
Unless footage dictates otherwise PG rated movies are normally given General ratings by
CAB, and in this instance it was felt the term was totally in keeping with the scene.
We regret that one complainant took offence but do not believe this warrants an upheld
decision.
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