A complaint about the packaging of Cwtch Welsh Red Ale (330ml can) has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel for
having a particular appeal to under-18s and indirectly encouraging immoderate consumption.
The complainant, a member of the public, believed that the product wasn't obviously alcoholic, due to the design, and also had a particular appeal to children.
When considering the image of the bear on the front of the can, and its positioning alongside the wording Tiny Rebel, the Panel agreed that the packaging indirectly encouraged immoderate consumption. The Panel also considered the prominence of the
bear above the wording Tiny Rebel, in combination with the graffiti and swirling primary colours, caused the product to have a particular appeal to under-18s.
While considering the ruling, the Panel recognised Tiny Rebel's social responsibility work in their local community and highlighted that they had not deliberately sought to create product packaging which had an appeal to under-18s.
The Portman Group also acknowledged the positive way in which the producer has engaged with the Advisory Service throughout the complaint process and welcomed its early commitment to respect the Panel's ruling.
London's Royal Court has backed out of its initial decision to ban a touring production of the play Rita, Sue and Bob Too . Political correctness was the reason for the censorship on the basis that staging a play about an older man having
sex with two teenage girls would be highly conflictual in the post-Weinstein era. The theatre also cited allegations of sexual misconduct made against the touring company's founder, Max Stafford-Clark (who no longer works fro the company).
In a statement artistic director Vicky Featherstone announced that she had invited the production back to the theatre for its run. She apologised for her arbitrary censorship decision saying:
The Royal Court was nothing without the voices and trust of our writers. This is the guiding principle on which the theatre was founded and on which it continues to be run.
I have therefore been rocked to the core by accusations of censorship and the banning of a working-class female voice. For that reason, I have invited the current Out of Joint production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too back to the Royal Court for its
run. As a result of this helpful public debate we are now confident that the context with which Andrea Dunbar's play will be viewed will be an invitation for new conversations.
Arts writer David Barnett pointed out that cancelling Rita, Sue and Bob Too is a grim joke. It is precisely because of men like Max Stafford Clark that this play should be staged.
The play was written when Andrea Dunbar was 18 and became notorious for its opening scene where two schoolgirl babysitters take it in turns to have sex with their employer in the back of his car.
New rule to ban harmful gender stereotypes next year
Ella Smillie from the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP, the rule writing arm of ASA), announced that a new rule will be introduced in the UK Advertising Codes next year to ban what it claims as harmful gender stereotyping in advertising.
The review by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on claimed harmful gender stereotyping in advertising, Depictions, Perceptions and Harm , published last summer, proposed stronger censorship of ads that feature stereotypical
gender roles or characteristics including ads which mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes.
Ella Smillie said:
Following the review, we committed to developing new standards on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics. We are now developing a new rule and guidance on the depiction of gender stereotypes in ads, which we will consult
on in spring, 2018.
The review claimed that harmful stereotypes can restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults. These stereotypes can be reinforced by some advertising, which therefore plays a part in unequal gender
outcomes, with costs for individuals, the economy and society. The review welcomed the ASA's track record of banning ads on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and for normalising unhealthily thin body images, but claimed that
more needs to be done on gender stereotypical roles and characteristics portrayed in ads.
The new rule will not ban all forms of gender stereotypes. There will not be a ban on ads depicting a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks. But, subject to context and content considerations, however ASA would ban an ad which depicts family
members creating a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up, or an ad that features a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks because of stereotypes associated with his gender.
Ella Smillie, Committees of Advertising Practice, said:
Some gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children by limiting how people see themselves, how others see them, and potentially restricting the life decisions they take. The introduction of a new advertising rule from
2018 will help advertisers to know where to draw the line on the use of acceptable and unacceptable stereotypes.
We'll set out our proposed new standards in Spring 2018 and openly consult on them.
An episode of The Apprentice where female contestants ogled male models has sparked a few complaints to the BBC.
The women not only encouraged the men to show their six-packs, but one contestant also got dangerously close to touching the crotch of one of them, as she measured his inside leg.
The footage of Elizabeth McKenna and Michaela Wain casting the person for their fashion show was branded inappropriate by some of the members of the audience.
The BBC revealed it had received 158 complaints about the scene, making it the most complained-about show on the BBC in the last fortnight. The BBC wrote:
We received complaints from some viewers that the candidates behaved inappropriately in the male model casting audition.
We raised audience concerns with The Apprentice production team. They would like to reassure everyone that neither the models nor anyone present during the filming of the scene felt that anyone's behaviour was inappropriate, nor were they unhappy
with the events portrayed on screen. The audition was intended to be viewed as being light-hearted, which was very much in the spirit of the events that the candidates were tasked with planning.
A promoted tweet seen on 8 September 2017 featured an image of female presenters in their swimwear from a daytime
television show and the text, You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. #LooseWomen18.
A complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive because it was derogatory towards women.
ProgressPlay obtained a response from the Fruity King brand operator, who stated that the image along with text You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig was not derogatory towards women and that the link to them was meant to refer to
the TV show, in which the women in the photo appeared in, as a low quality programme. Therefore, the text referred to the show and not to the women themselves.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
We considered that the image shown in the tweet would be understood by viewers as intending to portray a positive image of women's bodies. However, we noted that the text You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig was shown above the
image. We considered that this was specifically targeted at the women shown in the image and, consequentially, ridiculed what it represented.
Because of that, we considered that the image along with the text You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig was derogatory towards women and therefore concluded was likely to cause widespread offence.
We acknowledged that the ad would not appear again in its current form. We told ProgressPlay Ltd that their future advertising must not be derogatory towards women.
A Queensland anti-pornography group has found itself in a wrangle with a local bus company after it refused
to carry the group's outdoor advertising that came with the message porn destroys relationships.
The group, who calls itself A City Free From Porn, is based in Toowoomba and has been actively campaigning for pornography to be abolished in the town.
The group tried to have an ad (see a dummy version above) added to the back of local buses, however, the campaign has been rejected by the operators due to their understandable prohibition on adverts of a sexual and political nature.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has decided not to take down a Balthus painting of a young girl,
Thérèse Dreaming (1938), that an online petition calls sexually suggestive.
The work depicts Balthus's favoured model and neighbour, Thérèse Blanchard, who was 12 or 13 years old at the time, reclining with her underwear visible. The artist had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls, and it can be strongly argued that
this painting romanticises the sexualisation of a child, writes the New York resident Mia Merrill, who started the petition on the website Care2 on 30 November. It has since gathered more than 8,600 supporters.
Merrill says that she is not calling for the work to be censored, destroyed or never seen again but either removed from display or shown with a caption that acknowledges the controversy over Balthus's reputation.
The museum's chief communications officer, Kenneth Weine, told the New York Times that:
Moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through
informed discussion and respect for creative expression.
Pizza Hut has apologised for running a promotion with The Sun on Sunday, just two weeks after Paperchase was criticised for
doing the same with the Daily Mail.
The controversy erupted after Pizza Hut flagged a promotion it was running with The Sun on Sunday, which offered a free pizza to every consumer.
The PC lynch mob on Twitter responded they would switch their patronage to other businesses. One Twitter user said:
I'm never going to set foot in your business again. No....not if you have to stoop so low as deal with that rag!!! said another. I will no longer patronise Pizza Hut given that they work with The Sun, was a popular sentiment, as was: Never ever
buying a pizza from here ever again now. Another complainant Howard Cover claimed Pizza Hut was finished in Liverpool.
Less than five hours after first posting details about the promotion, Pizza Hut said in a statement:
We apologise for any offence caused as a result of this partnership. The aim of this offer was simply to give our customers the chance to enjoy a free pizza to share with their family and friends.
There's no sign yet of an apology to Sun readers for Pizza Hut pandering to the politically correct sneering at Sun readers by the liberal left.
It's been compared to removing Harry Potter's wand, or watching Titanic and not seeing the boat sink.
French broadcaster TF1 has angered viewers who tuned into a Sunday night screening of the 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey by removing 15-minutes of sex scenes from it. The channel said it made the cuts in order for it to screen at 9pm.
However, some viewers thought it should have been shown in full after 10.30pm, while others thought it was tame compared to some French programming and pointed out it was only restricted to those under-12 when it was released in French cinemas.
The bizarre censorship decision may have been something to do with a recent whinge by President Macron'that French teens were being exposed to too much sex, too early.
Wanted is a 2008 USA / Germany action crime fantasy by Timur Bekmambetov.
Starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman.
A young man finds out his long lost father is an assassin. When his father is murdered, the son is recruited into his father's old organization and trained by a man named Sloan to follow in his dad's footsteps.
The film is 18 rated by the BBFC for strong bloody violence.
Sky1, 18 September 2017, 21:00
Wanted is a film about an office worker, Wesley, who learns that he is the son of a professional assassin and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities. It is an action thriller that was classified at an 18 rating by the British
Board of Film Classification in 2008.
Ofcom received a complaint about the broadcast of the word fucking and a sex scene shortly after the watershed. The complainant said that her 11 year old son was watching and that she considered the scene unsuitable for the time of
The film was scheduled to start shortly after the 21:00 watershed. From 18:30 to 21:00, five episodes of The Simpsons were broadcast.
The film cut at 21:03 to a scene in which Wesley’s girlfriend and friend, Cathy and Barry, were shown having sex on a kitchen table. Barry was naked from the waist down, while Cathy was in a skirt and bra. Barry was shown standing while having sex
with Cathy, who lay on the table with her legs wrapped around him, slapping his buttocks. The scene was shot mainly from the side and behind Barry. It lasted about 10 seconds.
We considered Rule 1.6:
The transition to more adult material must not be unduly abrupt at the watershed (in the case of television) …For television, the strongest material should appear later in the schedule.
We first assessed whether the sex scene was more adult material. We considered that, although relatively brief, and although the couple were partially clothed, it clearly depicted them having sex. In addition, at the same time as the sex scene,
the word fucking was used. Ofcom's 2016 research on offensive language4 highlighted that the word fuck and similar words are considered by audiences to be among the most offensive language. Therefore, in our view, this material was aimed at an
adult audience and could be considered more adult material in the context of Rule 1.6.
We considered that broadcasting a sex scene and an instance of the most offensive language three minutes after the watershed, and on a channel which had just broadcast family entertainment, was an unduly abrupt transition to more adult material.
Ofcom's Decision is that the material was in breach of Rule 1.6.
A strip club advertisement has been banned from one of Brisbane's busiest train stations after the advert censor found
it debased women (with thin crusts) comparing pizzas to breasts.
The poster shows two pizzas with pepperoni clustered in their centres under the words: Pizzas or Jugs? Grab both for just $25.
The owner of The Grosvenor topless bar and strip club, Jasmine Robson, responded:
Now I think this is political correctness/censorship gone absolutely mad. I am shocked that the ASB would determine that this ad is exploitative or demeaning to women in any way, especially considering there isn't even a woman on the billboard.
However the advert censors of the Advertising Standards Bureau upheld complaints including that the ad condoned and suggests sexual harassment of women by suggesting that people can grab 'jugs' at the bar'.
In their ruling, the ASB noted the image used in the ad was of a picture of pizzas with strategically placed pepperoni for the purpose of creating the impression of breasts with pronounced nipples. The Board considered the use of the term pizzas
or jugs and noted that the colloquial definition for jugs can include breasts.
The ASB found that the representation of womens' breasts as pizzas did reduce women to an object which was exploitative by way of purposefully debasing women. In addition, the promotion of being able to grab the deal at a bargain price was
degrading by lowering in character and quality women in general, the ASB found.
A PC extremist from Newcastle has called on her son's infant school to ban the classic fairy tale from teh school's reading list.
Sarah Hall claimed the timeless tale, in which an unconscious princess is kissed by a prince to wake her from a curse, features an inappropriate sexual message about a lack of consent. She contends the fairytale teaches children it's OK to kiss a
women while she's asleep.
Hall told the Newcastle Chronicle:
I think it's a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behavior and consent. It's about saying, 'Is this still relevant? Is it appropriate? In today's society, it isn't appropriate, my son is only six, he absorbs everything
She said her call for the book to be banned only refers to younger kids, saying the tale could be a great resource for older children to encourage discussions on consent and how the Princess might feel.
Offsite Comment: Okay, now feminists have gone too far
There is so much that is wrong with these arguments. There's the suggestion that parents won't be able to explain the difference
between fiction and real life to their kids. Or that sexual consent is something six-year-olds need to worry about. Or that as kids get older they will think back to the fictional tales they read when they were six to work out how to proceed with
budding sexual relationships. Or that there is something wrong in the first place with imagining a beautiful princess being saved by a kiss; that there's something wrong with the life of the imagination itself.