New Decisions: Bras, Dreaming Dogs and More

The following decisions have been published:

Bra Ad Ruled Not Offensive

The television advertisement for Berlei Bras showed various scenarios to illustrate the uncomfortable lengths some women go to in managing their breasts. Some scenes including ill-fitting bras, others using tape or nipple shields and one woman was shown running in a bra with little support. The advertisement says, in part: “We’ve been suppressed, bound, put on show, hidden away, lumped together, forced apart, exposed. No more. It’s time to be kind. Introducing Womankind.” The advertisement concludes with women enjoying wearing the Berlei bra.

The Complainants said the advertisement was offensive due to its content, played at a time that was inappropriate where children could see it, objectified women, was sexually suggestive and displayed a double standard of acceptability.

The Advertiser said the advertisement depicted breasts in a truthful way to highlight the discomfort of ill-fitting bras. They said most of the breasts were covered, and any views of nipples were censored. The advertisement played in accordance with its ‘GXC’ (General except Children) rating.

The Complaints Board agreed the advertisement played in accordance with its rating and was not offensive. It said there was nothing in the advertisement which degraded, objectified or exploited women when considered in context noting female empowerment was a key theme of the advertisement. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

Vehicle Ad Did Not Depict Unsafe Driving

The television advertisement for Holden showed three dogs sitting on the back of a parked ute waiting for their owner to return. The dogs see the new Holden vehicle range parked across the road and the dogs begin to daydream about driving in the backseat of the vehicles which are shown travelling in convoy. The advertisement said, in part: “Don’t just dream it, see your Holden dealer today.”

The Complainant was concerned the vehicles shown driving in convoy were too close together and did not observe the New Zealand Transport Guidelines on following distances.

The Advertiser said the advertisement did not show any illegal or unsafe practices and it observed legal and safety requirements while filming the advertisement. The Advertiser also explained the scene was part of a dog’s dream sequence that represented a dog’s whimsical view on a charmed life in a new Holden, contrasted to the working dog’s life on the farm.

The Complaints Board said the short distance between the vehicles was of concern but this was mitigated by the hyperbolic nature of the advertisement from the perspective of a dog’s dream. It agreed the advertisement did not depict unsafe driving practices or any realistic actions which could constitute a traffic offence. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.