New Decisions: Fuel Rewards, Period Blood & more

The following decisions have been made:

Period Blood Ruled Not Offensive
The Libra Blood Normal OnDemand television advertisement shows various images relating to periods including red liquid being poured onto a sanitary pad, a woman asking for a pad across a crowded table and a man shopping for sanitary products.  It also shows blood running down a woman’s leg in the shower and a pixelated sanitary pad being removed from underwear.  The text says “Why is it considered unacceptable to show period blood?  Periods are normal. Showing them should be too.”

There were two complaints for this advertisement, both of which were viewed the ad on the TVNZ OnDemand platform during Shortland Street. One complainant said the advertisement was disgusting and the attempt to normalise periods had gone too far.  They said the advertisement should not have been played before 8:30pm. The other complainant said the advertisement was inappropriate.

The Advertiser confirmed the advertisement was targeting females who were over 18 and that it would only have been served to profiles which matched the target audience. The Advertiser noted the Blood Normal campaign had encompassed TV and digital platforms in 13 different countries and any complaints to regional advertising standards boards had been dismissed with no part of the campaign banned by any country.

The Complaints Board noted the Libra Blood Normal advertisement was targeted at user profiles who were female and over 18 years of age and agreed this was an appropriate audience for the advertisement’s content.  The Board acknowledged parts of the advertisement would challenge some viewers, but these images were directly related to the product being advertised and the advertisement’s message about normalising periods.  The Complaints Board said there was nothing exploitative or degrading in the advertisement and given the target audience, the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

Fuel Rewards Ad Not Misleading
The 30 second version of the BP Smartfuel television advertisement shows a man being served at a BP counter, with the BP employee saying, “Do you want to use your discount now or later?”  The customer says, “Now’s good.”  The teller than says “You just saved $21 with AA Smartfuel” The customer has a fantasy scene where he unzips his body to become a dancing William Waiirua. The voiceover says “Well that was a little bit exciting.  Every day, brighter.”  The text which appears on screen as the customer is served says “Find out how to save at AASmartfuel.co.nz/bp.”

The Complainant was concerned the advertisement was misleading to say you ‘just’ saved $21 when he was redeeming his accumulated discounts from multiple visits to BP.

The Advertiser said the statement “You’ve just saved $21 with AA Smartfuel” is a true and accurate statement as the customer has just paid $21 less than the total cost of his fuel purchase. The Advertiser noted that text which appears on screen also directs customers to the website which details how this saving was accumulated in the “Save like Dave” section.

The Board said the opening sentence of the advertisement, “Do you want to use your discount now or later?”, had introduced the consumer to the concept of the Smartfuel reward system.  It showed the customer had been saving for a discount and is now choosing to spend it, meaning he had ‘just’ saved himself $21 on his current purchase. The Complaints Board noted the Advertiser had made additional information available on its website and clearly laid out the breakdown of how the accumulated discounts were earned. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

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