Fighting the standards of taste and decency
October 28, 2005 5:13 PM   Subscribe

The Best Banned Advertising, from the publishers of the Best Rejected Advertising books, is a collection highlighting quality ads that received numerous consumer complaints and in some cases government bans. Most aren't your typical "too hot for tv" commercials; some are fantastic.
posted by kyleg (23 comments total)

 
via
posted by kyleg at 5:15 PM on October 28, 2005


There's also the wonderful X-Rated, Ads They Couldn't Show, a Channel 4 documentary. Of *course* Channel 4 decided to show the ads they couldn't show...

These are ads that break all manner of taboos, from sex, violence, blasphemy,
homosexuality, animal cruelty, rapping pensioners, swearing children, suicidal
toys and naked athletes to Kylie in her undies on a bucking bronco.


I found the bucking Kylie possibly the most unsettling. Why is she so popular? Why is an ad with her so risky? Mindboggling.

Available on BitTorrent, this is the hash: 860c3bb67aae4be95a24217de63634a851c19a19.
posted by meehawl at 5:25 PM on October 28, 2005


meehawl, how does one make use of that hash?
posted by ChrisR at 5:30 PM on October 28, 2005


That Marithe & Francois Gibaud 'Last Supper' ad is a brilliant image.
posted by Miko at 5:37 PM on October 28, 2005


how does one make use of that hash

Sorry, should have spec'd, it's a BitComet hash. Try here.
posted by meehawl at 5:44 PM on October 28, 2005


This is really good. It reminded me of Zeldman's ancient (in web years) Advertising Graveyard. I haven't visited it or thought about it in years.
posted by iconomy at 5:49 PM on October 28, 2005


I tolds you I was hard core (nsfw).
posted by delmoi at 7:59 PM on October 28, 2005


I don't often say this, but things like this makes be appreciate the US. I'm somewhat bothered by the idea of a group that can arbitrarily ban media, advertising or not. Some US campaigns were featured but they were banned by convention not authority. Very different in my mind.
posted by hupp at 8:13 PM on October 28, 2005


That South African TV ad for children's education was fantastic; the follow-up ad a wonderful middle finger.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:25 PM on October 28, 2005


I got no links searching for that hash. Will try again tomorrow.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:20 PM on October 28, 2005


I got no links searching for that hash. Will try again tomorrow.

Are you sure you didn't just smoke it?
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:55 PM on October 28, 2005


I like how one of the complaints about the EasyJet one was that it "it trivialised the recent war in Iraq."

#1: What do weapons of mass destruction have to do with the war in Iraq?
#2: Recent? Is it over?
posted by ODiV at 1:02 AM on October 29, 2005


Hupp:I'm somewhat bothered by the idea of a group that can arbitrarily ban media, advertising or not. Some US campaigns were featured but they were banned by convention not authority.
I don't see why it's better. "Banning by convention" is often the handiwork of very dedicated, very vocal groups of people that are hardly representative of the general population. Competent regulation authorities can resist this kind of pressure and don't "arbitrarily" ban media as they have to explain their decisions. In France, this authority is the BVP, a private (operated by advertisers) body. Of course, they are criticised from time to time, but on the whole French advertising seems to be much freer than its US counterpart, at least as far as sex is concerned (and the large number of ads featuring female objectification)
posted by elgilito at 4:34 AM on October 29, 2005


Damn, hit post too fast. Should end by "and the large number of ads featuring female objectification is a usual target for feminist groups".
posted by elgilito at 4:44 AM on October 29, 2005


I agree that the Last Supper one was super.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:01 AM on October 29, 2005


I don't understand the vague explanation behind the prohibition of this terrific ad - how can that be be "insulting" to anything, an inanimate doll most of all? What legal right does Barbie have to not be insulted? I know Mattel has been completely paranoid and insane about protecting Barbie from perceived threats before, but this one seems to completely take the cake, since Barbie wasn't actually involved until they made it so.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:12 AM on October 29, 2005


Those Hamlet miniature ones made me laugh. I wouldn't have expected the complaints, considering
a) the whole series of Hamlet adverts were based on the idea of sympathy for the characters.
b) they "misleadingly implied that dwarves and people of short stature were small because they or their mothers smoked" - eh? What suggested that?

Actually several of these are simply cleverly incorporating taboo subjects and probably fell foul of the frigid middle-classes not wanting to think about those things they had thought safely under the carpet.
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:22 AM on October 29, 2005


I remember seeing that Last Supper ad in Italian magazines. (Just as a note, the "Advertising Standards Authority" referred to there is not a goverment authority, it's a self-regulating organisation).

Recently they recalled a billboard ad by Oliviero Toscani for a clothing brand, it's the image in the middle. It was deemed too crass.

I remember a Jean-Paul Gaultier print ad for a perfume that had a bottle shaped like a woman's torso and the photo had a girl hugged from behind by a guy with his hands cupping her breasts. You couldn't see their faces only the torso like the perfume bottle. It was very stylish but it was still the same concept, yet it run for ages without a peep from the regulating body. Not to mention stuff even more explicit than the Elle McPherson print ad.

Now I don't think much of that style of advertising (not that I find it offensive or demeaning, just lazy, it's too easy to get attention to your brand like that) but the regulating standards are not very consistent there.
posted by funambulist at 8:53 AM on October 29, 2005


You definitely get the feeling that a lot of these complaints come from people who are simply too dumb to understand what's going on in them.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" -Einstein
posted by clevershark at 8:56 AM on October 29, 2005


I found the bucking Kylie possibly the most unsettling. Why is she so popular? Why is an ad with her so risky? Mindboggling.

meehawl, my mind boggles at your mindboggling! on both questions!

That's the kind of ad made precisely to create that kind of "too risky for tv viewing" image.
posted by funambulist at 9:13 AM on October 29, 2005


Ahhh, I love this. Potentially offensive advertising is the best kind!
posted by jetskiaccidents at 10:30 AM on October 29, 2005


my mind boggles at your mindboggling!

Women humping furniture/cars/drinks or fellating chocolates or ice pops is a staple of advertising. What worries me most is Kylie's popularity and, by extension, the conversion of her antics into outrage. It's not the soft porn that boggles me, it's Kylie herself.
posted by meehawl at 1:46 PM on October 29, 2005


Then go on, tell us, what do you find worrying about Kylie's popularity?
posted by funambulist at 2:02 AM on October 31, 2005


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