Thursday, November 30, 2006

Condoms Attack!

I wrote previously about the Hell Pizza chain delivering condoms as part of a promotional campaign for their Lust pizza, and the upset that caused some people.

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.


Jessica said...

Aw heck leave the well meaning pizza joint alone! I'd say h-e-double-hocky-sticks but I might offend someone reading your blog comments. :P

Arthur Schenck said...

"h-e-double-hocky-sticks" -- I haven't heard that in YEARS! In a similar vein, my dad used to say that instead of swearing it was okay to use the "chemical formula" SH 1 T (that's a one in the middle). He thought he was being so hip and cool. He'd be shocked to know what a potty-mouth I've become since moving to New Zealand!

Don't worry, you can say whatever you want here. I think I long ago scared away anyone who'd be offended by a little word like "hell"!

Kalv1n said...

this is so ridiculous, and I completely agree. Why are people so afraid of free condoms. It's not like it's a sin to touch one, or wait...