Feeds

ASA bans tyrannical German boss ad

Don't mention the war, watchdog orders Reed Online

High performance access to file storage

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a Reed Online radio ad featuring a shouty German boss because it "reinforced a negative and outdated cultural stereotype of German people as overpowering and tyrannical".

The offending advert "featured a man speaking to his boss, who responded angrily and loudly in German". The voice-over declared: "Boss a bit of a tyrant? Find your perfect boss on the UK's biggest job site ..."

While thirteen listeners complained the ad was "offensive to Germans", the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) defended that it "believed most listeners would regard the scenario as humorous and inoffensive and were likely to understand that the ranting boss was a tyrant, because he responded angrily to his colleague rather than in a calm way".

The RACC further described the character in question as a generic "German-sounding orator", which it described as "a well established type in comedy culture".*

However, the ASA ruled that the advert breached "CAP (Broadcast) Radio Advertising Standards Code Section 2 rule 9 (Good taste and decency)".

The watchdog conceded that "the use of stereotypes was an inevitable part of establishing a character in a short radio ad, but nonetheless considered that such stereotypes should not perpetuate damaging misconceptions".

It concluded that "given the extreme reaction and aggressive tone of the German speaking boss, the ad reinforced a negative and outdated cultural stereotype of German people as overpowering and tyrannical and therefore the ad had the potential to cause serious offence to some listeners".

The ASA ordered the ad should "not be broadcast again in its current form". ®

Bootnote

* Indeed. We can only hope for the ASA's sake that Reed Online doesn't recruit Basil Fawlty to do a few ads.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.