Feeds

STRONG REAL SEX? That's not porn, rules ASA

The kids'll never notice

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

British parents can be reassured that a newspaper picture of a man and woman having sex at the base of tree to advertise a film which "CONTAINS STRONG REAL SEX, BLOODY VIOLENCE AND SELF-MUTILATION" is not pornographic.

The Advertising Standards Authority made the ruling after seven complainants turned to it in horror after seeing ads for the film Antichrist which appeared in the Guardian, The Times and the Independent.

Apparently the benighted stick-in-the-muds thought the depiction of a naked couple having sex was offensive and inappropriate for publication in a newspaper where it might be seen by children. Some - clearly from Norfolk or somewhere - even thought it was pornographic.

Artificial Eye Film Company explained to the ASA that the picture of the rutting couple was the only one they'd be given to punt the film.

They added that they "thought The Times, The Guardian and The Independent were read by adults, not children, so saw no reason to change the ad for appearance in those publications, which all editorially approved the ad." (Which just goes to show how unsuccessful the Times and Guardian's children's sections are.)

The Times argued that "although the newspaper might be seen by children, the reader would need to be reasonably adult to understand what was being portrayed" and added "the image, taken as a whole, was therefore not as offensive as ordinarily would be expected from a depiction of a couple having sex". Luckily Times readers bring their kids up to be seen and not ask questions.

The Guardian said it "believed the ad was not offensive or pornographic, because the image was not explicit and the ad contained no swear words or obscenities" and added it was "aimed firmly at an adult audience and they thought the ad would not have caused serious or widespread offence to their readers". Presumably the CO2 produced by the shagging duo had been appropriately offset.

The Independent argued that both the film and the newspaper were aimed at adults, adding that it did not publish a children's page or section, and did nothing to recruit readers of school age.

The ASA was clearly reassured by these arguments, deciding not to uphold the complaints. "Although the possibility of children seeing the ad in those publications could not be ruled out, we considered it unlikely," the argued.

In addition, if children did see the rutting pair while playing with the recycling, or spreading out waste paper before doing a little bit of creative play, "we considered it was not particularly explicit and the dream-like context, introduced by the hands protruding from the tree (or roots), had the effect of making the image of the naked couple seem removed from reality."

"We considered that the ad... was unlikely to be seen as irresponsible or cause serious or widespread offence to readers of The Times, The Guardian and The Independent."

We look forward to the ASA's judgement the next time someone tries to advertise non-Virgin olive oil in the big papers. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.