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Violence appears to be the common the theme for the latest punishment beatings being dished out by the advertising watchdog.

In its latest round of kickings, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints about two easynet ads that appeared in the Evening Standard.

One featured a picture of a man being punched in the face by another man. The caption read: "When your MD finds out you're spending up to 85% too much on your Internet connection".

Another photograph showed a man being punched in the face by a woman and was headlined: "When your employees discover that their Internet connection could be 140* times faster". (Let's hope it wasn't the same man or he could have taken a real hammering - ed)

The complainants objected that the advertisements were offensive and condoned violent and anti-social behaviour.

The ASA agreed, in spite of easynet's protests that the pictures provoked a strong reaction without trivialising violence. The ASA told the ISP not to do it again.

Elsewhere, the ASA was unhappy with an ad from Sale-based telecoms outfit, Eurocall Ltd, which featured a picture of a handgun lying flat on the page. It was titled "Serial Killer".

The text read: "When we see our competitors struggling we finish them off ... An aggressive approach that has allowed us to more than treble our business and give us the largest dealer channel in the UK. Dying to know more? ..."

People objected on the grounds that the image and text were "offensive and irresponsibly aggressive", especially since it appeared at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Eurocall argued that the images were in response to the "increasingly aggressive and competitive nature of the telecommunications industry".

The ASA told Eurocall not to do it again. ®

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