Complaint: 18/047

Garden Hotel and Restaurant, Radio


Garden Hotel and Restaurant
No Grounds to Proceed
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document


C Ferguson
Garden Hotel and Restaurant
Garden Hotel and Restaurant,
12 February 2018
No Grounds to Proceed

The radio advertisement for the Garden Hotel Restaurant has a man
cooking dinner for his partner and says in part: "Happy Valentines Day my love" and woman
is heard saying "Oh Greg, I didn't know you could cook" followed by the woman in a shrill
voice saying "Beans on toast and instant pudding! - Does our love mean nothing to you?" A
crashing sound and a male voice groaning can be heard and the voiceover says "The DIY
approach probably won't go down wel this Valentines Day, but a candlelit dinner at the
Garden Hotel Restaurant definitely will."

The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

C Ferguson, said: I am complaining about the Valentines Day promotion that
Christchurch Restaurant "The Garden Hotel" is using. They also used the same
advertisement leading up to the same holiday in 2017.
It is about how a man should have taken his wife to the restaurant as he prepared a less than
adequate dish for the big night. When the wife lifted the lid she screamed out Argh, beans on
toast and instant pudding! Does our love mean nothing to you? She then threw the beans
fresh off the stove at him and he screamed in a pain.
Now apparently this is meant to be funny. Forget about the poor guy trying to do something
nice. Forget that it's the thought that counts. He wronged her.

Now let's swap the couples behaviours around. Let's say the male is the more dominating
one and what he says goes in most situations. What would society think of him? Imagine the
outrage if an advertisement had a male throwing a hot substance at a female and yelling at

Rarely do we imagine men as victims. To do so is almost comical - literally. The image of the
angry housewife - usually fat and unattractive waiting at home for her delinquent husband
with curlers in her hair and holding a rolling pin, ready to dispense retributory violence for
some slight, has been around for generations.

...This advertisement is deeply upsetting to me and a lot of other males. Statistics worldwide
show that 50% of domestic violence victims are actually male!!

It is not right that this is deemed suitable and by having it played on air is showing that it is ok
for woman to abuse men.

The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 4, Rule 5, Rule 6.

The Chair
noted the Complainant's concern the advertisement was upsetting in its depiction
of domestic violence, in particular with a male as the victim.

The Chair took into account that the Advertiser sought to use light-hearted humour to
promote its establishment. She said that while the tone of the advertisement was less than
ideal and did not present the woman in a good light, it was not possible to say whether any
actual violence took place or whether the plates were smashed on the floor and the man
groaned in disappointment.

The Chair said that with this limited context, the woman's actions did not meet the threshold
to condone violent behaviour towards men. When taking into account generally prevailing
community standards, the Chair said the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or
widespread offence.

While acknowledging the genuine concern the advertisement caused the Complainant, the
Chair said the advertisement did not breach of Rules 4, 5 or 6 of the Code of Ethics and had
been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility required by Basic Principle 4 of the
Code of Ethics.

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

Chair's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed

According to the procedures of the Advertising Standards Complaints Board, all
decisions are able to be appealed by any party to the complaint. Information on
our Appeal process is on our website Appeals must be made in
writing via email or letter within 14 days of receipt of this decision.