New Decisions: Zombie comedy, alcohol advertising & more

The following decisions have been published:

Zombie Ad Ruled Not Offensive

The television advertisement for L&P shows a pair of zombie friends exploring a post-apocalyptic cityscape. In one scene one of the zombies finds the remains of a used can of L&P, which he pours into his mouth. In another scene some humans spot the zombies beside an urban swimming pool and turn away in fright. The advertisement ends with the text “Refreshingly Different”.

The ASA received 40 complaints about this advertisement. The Complainants said the content of the advertisement was in poor taste and would have a harmful effect on the mental health of children and vulnerable members of society. Some complainants were concerned the advertisement played when children would be watching television.

The Advertiser said the advertisement was a light-hearted parody of ‘zomedy’ movies. Care was taken to ensure that the ad was unlikely to cause offence and that the zombies’ appearance was not unnecessarily frightening. The advertiser said the advertisement had been placed appropriately for its classification and target market.

The Complaints Board said the advertisement was classified as GXC (General Except Children’s Programmes) and was screened within the constraints of its classification. The Complaints Board noted that since receiving complaints the Advertiser had decided to reschedule the advertisement to be screened after 7pm. The Complaints Board agreed the zombie characters did not behave in an anti-social way and the setting was clearly fictitious and humorous. The Complaints Board said that while this advertisement may be distasteful to some viewers, it did not reach the threshold to be considered likely to cause fear, distress, harm or serious or widespread offence. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

Ad breached Code by linking alcohol product to sexual success

The Facebook advertisement for Nitro Vodka Guarana is headed “Zero Regrets” with three bottles of the product in the foreground. The picture shows an image of the legs of two bodies on a bed covered in a sheet. The wording next to the image says in part “Nitro Zero Sugar = Zero Regrets. Warning Nitro is the Strongest Energy RTD formulation and is pumped with Guarana so you may not get that much sleep…which sometimes ain’t a bad thang.”

The Complainant was concerned the advertisement is implying alcohol can lead to sexual and social success and has not observed the high standard of social responsibility required of alcohol advertising.

The Advertiser said the advertisement shows two people in bed in the morning without feeling any regrets about sleeping late and there is no inference to any sexual activity. The Advertiser said it has removed the post on a without prejudice basis.

The majority of the Complaints Board said the combination of the image and the wording linked an alcohol product to sexual success which is in breach of the Code, and the requirement for a high standard of social responsibility in alcohol advertising. In accordance with the majority, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Upheld.

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