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Watchdog bites Mattesons saucy sausage ad

Housewife boasts of her 'big sausage hot pot'

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NSFC The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rather churlishly ruled that four innuendo-packed radio ads for Mattesons smoked sausages "could cause harm to children".

The first ad - broadcast on Forth One, Clyde Radio and Real Radio - promisingly began with a male voice saying "Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage... "

It continued: "Think about all the things you can stick this tasty, extraordinarily large sausage in. Mmm. Pizza, pasta, stir fry. You have any ideas? Give me a call and tell me where you like to stick it. Ladies, I'm waiting for your call ... Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage. You want it."

The three follow-up ads featured women who'd rung in to offer their suggestions as to where to stick the extraordinarily large sausage.

The ASA details one of the ads thus: "'You've all been telling me where you like to stick it. This was one of my favourites'. A female voice stated: 'I'm renowned for my big sausage hot pot. People are always calling by for a bit and my husband Roger loves it.' The male voice continued: 'Roger that Fiona. Ladies, keep telling me where you like to stick yours... Mmm, Mattesons smoked pork sausage. You want it.'"

The ASA received "21 complaints from listeners who heard the ads at various times throughout the day". All claimed the ads were "offensive, because they contained inappropriate sexual innuendo", while seven said they were "not suitable to be broadcast when children were likely to be listening".

Mattesons owner Kerry Foods defended the ads, suggesting that they were: "intended to be a tongue-in-cheek and light hearted way to portray peoples desire for their product and to suggest creative meal solutions." It said it was "confident that the ads would not offend".

The ASA ruled that the material was "not sexually explicit" and "unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence" and therefore didn't breach CAP (Broadcast) Radio Advertising Standards Code section 2 rule 9 (Good taste, decency and offence to public feeling).

The watchdog did, though, conclude: "However, although it was not sexually explicit, the innuendo was sufficiently strong to present a problem if it was heard by older children. We concluded that the ads could cause harm to children and, because they had not been scheduled away from times when children might be listening, had not been appropriately scheduled."

Having declared the ads in breach of CAP (Broadcast) Radio Advertising Standards Code section 2 rules 8 (Scheduling) and 11 (Children and younger listeners), the ASA declared they should "not be broadcast in or around programmes likely to be heard by a significant number of children". ®

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