Old ads you couldn´t show today

As we are looking into the world of publicity we have discussed the fact there have to abide by not only the law but also by the ASA Advertising Standards Authority.  They aim is “to ensure ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful by applying the Advertising Codes” Any member of the public can refer an ad which they judge offensive to the ASA and they will look into it. Adjudications is the word they use for cases they are considering. You can check them out here and see whether they have been upheld, that is, the advertising agency had to change their ad or not upheld, the ads remains as it is and the complaint is not considered.

Let´s see one example

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has concluded a risque poster campaign that encourages the over-50s to take up 30 minutes of exercise a day. The campaign, launched in April 2007, included three posters, two of which evoked complaints to the The Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA received 75 complaints about billboards featuring a nude man embracing a women in her swimming costume.

Naked man and female swimmer in BHF poster

The ASA received eight complaints about a billboard featuring a man combining walking the dog and washing the car.

Dog and car wash together in BHF poster


The ASA said that while complainants described the adverts as offensive it did not feel there are grounds for an investigation and the case has subsequently been closed.

I am sure the ASA would feel different if they were judging these old ads

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