A raunchy ad ranking a speedy data connection better than an unsatisfactory experience in the bedroom need not make a hasty exit‚ the advertising watchdog has ruled.
The ad for mobile network Cell C‚ which shows a scantily clad couple embracing and caressing each other before ending up in bed together‚ was the subject of a recent complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Once in bed‚ the man gets on top of the woman‚ makes a thrusting movement and immediately appears to have exhausted himself‚ much to the dissatisfaction of his partner.
A voiceover then states: “Fast is not always good; except when it comes to data speeds.”
Lusanda Myira‚ from Cape Town‚ complained to the advertising watchdog that the ad is “disgusting”‚ “revolting”‚ and inappropriate viewing for children‚ considering the high rate of sexual crimes in South Africa.
But the ASA dismissed Myira’s complaint last week‚ agreeing with Cell C’s submission that its ad was not placed anywhere children should be snooping.
Cell C said the ad was only flighted on YouTube‚ with an age restriction setting activated‚ and in cinemas at age-restricted screenings.
It said that though a link to the video had appeared on Facebook‚ it had not placed it there and could not police the social media accounts of others.
It added that a warning message was placed in the video’s opening shot.
Myira said that she understands the ASA’s ruling but does not agree with it.
“My point is that [the ad is] out there. Of course [Cell C] can’t control [who views] it because it’s already out there‚” she said on Thursday.
Cell C marketing head Doug Mattheus said: “As a brand‚ [Cell C] strives to remain light-hearted‚ entertaining‚ aspirational and above all‚ responsible.”
Another raunchy ad also received the ASA’s stamp of approval last week when the body dismissed a complaint about a billboard that was part of the Department of Health’s PASOP campaign for HIV awareness. The billboard’s wording read: “I swing both ways‚ and I always choose safety.”
Three complainants said that the billboard encouraged children to have sex at any age‚ as long as it is safe‚ and that the implication of bisexuality did not promote safe sexual lifestyles intelligently.
But the ASA said that the ad was not a threat to children who would not understand its sexual sub-text. It said that children who would ask questions are old enough to be engaged on the topic by their parents.
Health department spokesman Popo Maja said: “We are quite happy with the ruling because there was a lot of thinking in developing [the campaign’s] messages. The ruling proves our campaign was rationally developed.”