AN ONLINE ad campaign for Poundland that featured a toy elf posing in a ‘sexual manner’ has been banned.
The firm’s pre-Christmas #ElfBehavingBadly campaign attracted 85 complaints and concerns that the ads could be seen by children, the Advertising Standards Authority said.
One image showed the elf sitting on a toy donkey’s back with the caption, ‘Don’t tell Rudolph I’ve found a new piece of ass’, which was seen to be ‘a pun of a sexual nature’.
Another showed him playing cards with three naked dolls, captioned, ‘Joker, joker. I really want to poker’.
The watchdog said it considered an advert showing the elf and unclothed dolls in a basin captioned, ‘A night of selfies and chill’, to be a play on the term ‘Netflix and chill’, which was a widely known term implying sexual activity.
Another image showed the elf with a toothbrush between its legs and said: ‘That’s one way to scratch that itch. That’s not Santa’s toothbrush is it?!’ The ASA concluded the adverts breached rules regarding social responsibility and were ‘likely to cause serious or widespread offence’.
Poundland said a poll of 12,000 people showed 82 per cent backed its campaign and under-13s were unlikely to have seen the adverts because they could not create Twitter or Facebook accounts.
The ASA added: ‘They stated a large number of people found the campaign to be humorous, engaging, and in line with what it meant to be British. They stated they did not intend to offend anyone.’
Fault! Teacake ad ruled sexist
AN ADVERT showing a tennis player keeping a Tunnock’s teacake up her skirt instead of a spare ball has been banned.
The image — used with the slogans ‘where do you keep yours?’ and ‘serve up a treat’ — was likely to cause serious offence, ruled the Advertising Standards Agency.
The watchdog noted that the player’s bare thigh and underwear were clearly on view and that this had no relevance to the advertised product.
‘We considered that although the image was only mildly sexual in nature, when combined with the phrase “serve up a treat” it had the effect of objectifying women by using a woman’s physical features to draw attention to the ad,’ the ASA said. ‘We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some consumers and was socially irresponsible.’
The ruling came after one person complained the ad was sexist and objectified women.
Tunnock’s Tea Cakes said the ad was put up next to the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow to coincide with a charity tennis match. There was no intention to cause offence, the company said.