New Decisions: Workplace Banter, Movie Trailers and More

The following decisions have been published on the ASA website:

Builder’s Banter Misheard

An ITM television advertisement showed three male builders sharing banter. One man with a reputation for booking lots of holiday leave announces he has booked more leave. Another man responds with “Oh my god, far out man”. Overlapping this line of dialogue is the sound of a nail gun, then the words “Live To Build” appear on the screen.

The Complainant was concerned that the advertisement contained an expletive with what they believe could be “Fuck off”. The Complainant did not believe that suggestive or implied profanity was appropriate during children’s viewing times. The Advertiser stated the Complainant had misheard the statement and the actor had said “Far out man”.

The Complainant Board’s examination of the advertisement was supported by the transcript provided by the Advertiser and it unanimously agreed the advertisement did not contain any suggested or implied profanity. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled to Not Uphold the complaint.

Movie Trailer Reclassified to Ensure Appropriate Screening Times

A Village Roadshow television advertisement trailer for the movie Annabelle 2 showed various clips from the movie, including dark scenes of scary dolls, children levitating and being thrown across the room and dragged away.

A Complainant stated that the advertisement contained disturbing images, scenes and themes. They believed that due to the R rating of the movie, the advertisement was not suitable to be screened in the early evening. Three other Complainants raised similar issues.

The Complaints Board Chair confirmed that the movie trailer now had an AO (Adult Only) rating, which would result in the advertisement being placed in more appropriate timeslots. Given the Media’s co-operative engagement with the process and the self-regulatory action taken in amending the advertisement’s rating, the Chair said that it would serve no further purpose to place the matter before the Complaints Board. The Chair ruled that the complaint was Settled.