A decade has passed and still Tom Watson is still fighting Tony, this time it is Tony the Tiger who promotes Kellogg’s Frosties because they’re “grrrrreat”. This morning he told a gathering of advertising industry executives that “this failed advertising executive* loves your industry… and the Labour Party wants to do everything we can to support your success.“ He then told them to “Get that monkey off our packs. Get cartoon characters off advertising for high sugar foods… if you don’t I promise you the next Labour government will.” Which doesn’t seem very supportive of advertising…
The Shadow DCMS minister also asked if political advertising needs to come under the Advertising Standards Authority’s regulatory umbrella. Guido has practical and philosophical problems with that, firstly the ASA is not a regulator, it is a politically driven trade group that has no statutory powers. Nor should it.
Secondly it is the job of the voters to choose between liars who want to be elected. The idea that there could be some apolitical body that decides what is true in politics is nonsense, that is why we have democracy. Could an advertising regulator rule on claims as to whether tax cuts or more government spending will boost the economy? That is a political choice, not a matter of absolute truth.
Thirdly, Labour’s attack line against the advertising industry is a wilful misunderstanding of the true nature of the obesity problem in the UK. Lifestyle choices are the cause, not advertising. Banning promotional characters will not in itself get people off their screens and sofas. Left-of-centre politicians around the world are antipathetic to advertising because instinctively they know it is the propaganda arm of capitalism, it enables and encourages consumer choice in a free society. Advertising informs consumers and enhances competition, it lubricates capitalism…
An attack on advertising is, in effect, an attack on free speech. While commercial free speech may not be valued as highly by some as other forms of free speech, it should, nevertheless, be defended as an important principle. The advertising industry needs to defend itself strongly, something that the ASA cuckoos will never do…
*Tom Watson remind the ad execs he was once a junior account manager at an advertising agency in London where they “operated on the margins of creativity and the seedy world of direct mail…I loved the absolute bullshit of it all .. that experience helped me greatly in my job as a politician.” No further questions m’lud.
The censorious self-appointed bureaucrats at the Advertising Standards Authority have previously targeted anti-gay marriage adverts, anti-environmentalist adverts, Fathers4Justice adverts, pro-hanging adverts and women in bikinis in their insidious campaign against politically incorrect causes. This morning they have banned Poundland’s teabagging elf, the light-hearted campaign that took place around Christmas to much amusement on Twitter, for being “demeaning to women”. Poundland said in a statement: “Britain’s the home of saucy postcards, Carry On films and panto, so I’m sad the ASA found my double entendres hard to swallow”.
This Tunnock’s Tea Cakes advert was also censored, with the ASA ruling it objectified women and was socially irresponsible. Sigh.
The censorious bunch of self-appointed bureaucrats at the Advertising Standards Authority have targeted anti-gay marriage adverts, anti-environmentalist adverts, Fathers4Justice adverts, pro-hanging adverts and women in bikinis in their insidious campaign against politically incorrect causes. Their latest investigation is into Poundland’s teabagging elf, who caused a storm in a teacup over Christmas. Literally several vastly overpaid men will be sitting in a room discussing whether an image of an elf holding a teabag over a plastic doll is against their code. The investigation is going to last months. And all because some lefties moaned on Twitter. Free the teabagging elf!
Friends of the Earth has been rebuked by the advertising regulator and forced to promise it will not repeat pseudo-scientific claims about the economic, environmental and health effects of fracking. FoE published a scaremongering campaign leaflet last year warning fracking would be responsible for everything from falling house prices to asthma and cancer. Now the Advertising Standards Authority has extracted a pledge from the group that future literature will not include the claims, none of which could be evidenced. The watchdog said the environmentalists must:
That means the entire ‘scientific’ basis of FoE’s anti-fracking lobbying effort has been debunked. Importantly, these now banned claims were made on a leaflet intended to solicit donations from the public: Friends of the Earth is a registered charity. Guido understands a complaint has been put in to the Fund Raising Regulator. FoE is yet to remove the claims from its website. Quite literally fracking unbelievable…
The Guardian have been made to look an ass after a third-party advertising network posted a photo of a woman performing oral sex on a donkey on the front page of their website. Guido has pixellated the image above. Expecting kickback, the Guardian appear to have now closed down all third party network ads on their site. Mule’ll be sorry if you’re the ad network responsible. No braying at the back…
Those ads are all tailored to your browsing history…oops https://t.co/8QPPPiJVCc
— Bella (@bellamackie) November 8, 2016
As much as we are enjoying the speculation as to our online entertainment, this was in fact sent in by a reader. We originally had a phone call, which we dismissed as improbable. Then we got sent a screenshot from a second source…
The federasts at BuzzFeed love to trumpet their trendy appeal to a higher ethical code. Even in the age of aggressive native marketing and advertorials, BuzzFeed has promised to never run stories about ads it’s being paid for:
“Appreciation buzz posts celebrating a fun or cool ad are fine, as are posts critical of ads — but that content should not be about ads BuzzFeed’s business side has created.”
That’s all well and good, especially as doing so could be in breach of EU directive 2005/29/EC, which places a firm ban on “Using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content” – in other words, advertorials which don’t carry a “sponsored” or “advert” heading.
BuzzFeed has so far run five stories featuring the Jack Wills brand, purely as an act of “celebrating a fun or cool ad”. Here are our fave snaps from them:
1. Those totes-beaut hoodies.
2. That fetch Jack Wills in Cheshire…
3. …and that even fetcher one in Surrey.
4. Got to love those JW scents.
5. And last but not least, all those steamy Jack Wills models wearing Jack Wills clothes.
After asking BuzzFeed a spokesman was quick to tell Guido there was no commercial relationship between the trendy site and clothing company – after all, they’ve fallen foul of native advertising laws before on articles by “Brand Publishers”. You won’t believe what BuzzFeed’s shareholders must think about running (unpaid?) advertorials…
UPDATE: UK editor Janine Gibson tweets in response ‘In the words of Tina Fey: “Nope. Not product placement. That’s just the kind of revenue creating geniuses we are.”‘