COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/364
ADVERTISER Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
DATE OF MEETING 9 October 2017
OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The television advertisement for Silvasta screened during the documentary Diana: Seven Days that Shook the World at 8.30pm on TV One, a programme about the death of Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death in a car accident. The advertisement showed an actor talking about 'the little blue pill' and explaining it was available direct from pharmacists following a check-up at the pharmacy. The advertisement included mandatory information about the medicine and a website for further information.
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, H. McGuire, said: forward my complaint and correspondence from the Broadcasting Standards Authority to you as this problem should be addressed by your organisation.
Advertising on television is a cross to bear continuously. We mute advertising and make mental notes NOT to purchase that which is advertised. We wonder who on earth the
advertising appeals to as it is often so degrading. A new low was achieved when an advertisement for erectile dysfunction medication was screened during 'Diana: Seven Days
That Shook The World'. As I have said, this was completely inappropriate and extremely
distasteful in terms of its style as well as its placement.
Please look at what you are advertising and when. Please dont make your decisions just about how much a company might be willing to pay for a time slot. Please have a care for
decorum and decency. There are some things best discussed with doctors in private. If you
have any problem identifying what they might be, you are most welcome to ask me. I look forward to your response.
The relevant provision was Basic Principle 4 of the Code of Ethics.
The Chair noted in the Complainant's view, it was inappropriate for the Silvasta advertisement to be shown during a programme about the death of Princess Diana.
She then referred to a precedent Complaints Board's Decision 01/301 where the
Complaints Board's deliberation said, in part:
"..., the majority of the Board felt strongly that men had a right to be informed about a product which could assist them with a very distressing condition and that this advertisement achieved this objective in a socially responsible manner. Also, that at some stage children would learn about what was essentially a common and universal male physiological occurrence, and with regard to the advertisement parents had the choice of answering any queries at a more convenient time and in such detail as they felt appropriate for their child. In conclusion, the majority agreed
that both the content of the advertisement and the time at which it was shown, had been given thorough and responsible consideration by all parties concerned. Both the Advertiser and the media had employed a high standard of social responsibility in the construction and placement of the advertisement, and just as women had a right to information about sanitary protection products, men had a similar right to know about products which could enhance their health and well-being ..."
Turning to the advertisement before her, the Chair said precedent Decision 01/301 was relevant regarding the promotion of a product for a medical condition. She noted the Complainant's concern the timing of the advertisement was distasteful and inappropriate. The Chair said it had screened in adult viewing time and the content of the advertisement was not explicit. While the Complainant objected to the placement of the advertisement during a documentary about Princess Diana's death, in the Chair's view, this did not reach the threshold to breach the requirement for a due sense of social responsibility.
Accordingly, the Chair ruled that there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed