New Decisions: Cultural Stereotypes, Harmful Bacteria and More

The following decisions have been published:

Statement Not Culturally Degrading
The billboard advertisement for Coruba Rum showed people on a street, including two people on a bike and one kicking a soccer ball. The words “wi bizzy chillin” is displayed on the left-hand side and an image of the product, a Coruba bottle and the brand slogan “A taste of Jamaica”.

The Complainant was concerned the wording in the advertisement “wi bizzy chillin” was culturally degrading, stating: “Accents are one thing, but misspelling words to enhance an exotic accent perpetuates an us vs them mentality where those with accents unlike our own are wrong, not just different.”

The Advertiser said the statement in the advertisement “wi bizzy chillin” was a Jamaican Patois translation for similar kiwi terms, such as ‘sweet as’, ‘choice’, ‘she’ll be right’ and ‘chill out’. It is a common Jamaican expression and the spelling is taken from actual spelling of the Jamaican Patois language.

The Complaints Board noted the advertisement was for a Jamaican made rum which featured a strong Jamaican theme and people. The Complaints Board said the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and the advertisement was not in breach of the Advertising Codes. Accordingly, the complaint was Not Upheld.

Advertisement Provides Parents Options
A television advertisement for Protex soap showed a mother and daughter in the garden and said “My little girl loves playing and exploring outside, but I worry that it might dry out her skin and expose her to harmful bacteria.” The mother says she uses Protex soap to “protect my little explorer.”

The Complainant said the advertisement was offensive because it implied that exposure to the outdoors was bad for children. The Complainant was also concerned the product contained the ingredient Triclosan because they believed it may have negative effects for users.

In considering the complaint, the Chair referred to precedent Decision 16/142, which was not upheld by the Complaints Board. The Chair said the reference to harmful bacteria in the context of a child exploring the outdoors did not meet the threshold to mislead consumers. The Chair considered the advertisement promoted one option for an antibacterial soap. In addressing the Complainant’s concern about the dangers of Triclosan, the Chair said this matter was not within the Advertising Standards Authority’s jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.