Well, it seems the complaints about the stunt have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The Authority ruled that the promotional campaign was in breach of principle 4 of the code, requiring ads to be prepared with a sense of social responsibility.
This is a curious thing: One would think that distributing free condoms would be a good and socially responsible thing to do as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS. The advertising agency responsible for the campaign suggested as much, and pointed out that condoms are readily visible and available in grocery stores, corner dairies and petrol stations.
Nevertheless, the Authority felt not enough consideration was given to the fact that some people would be offended. They also helpfully suggested that “the use of other media which specifically targeted those at risk—such as a young adult audience—would have been more appropriate.”
Apparently the ASA is unaware that since “a young adult audience” is precisely the consumer target market for Hell Pizza, the people who would be most likely to pay attention to the ad campaign were young adults. Nevertheless, one wouldn’t want to risk upsetting the uptight crowd, now would one? One can still hear their porcelain tea cups and saucers chattering in their shaking hands.
Predictably, the right wing religious types were joyful (just think how much they must hate a pizza chain called “Hell”). They said it was “a victory for the protection of families from grubby advertising.”
Yeah, whatever. Personally, the only “grubby advertising” I can remember was funded by some extremist religious types in the last election.
The Authority has dismissed five other complaints against the chain over the past two years. Pity they didn’t dismiss one more.