herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Why do busybodies find pouting Roz offensive but allow a man to strip off?

Two of Ireland's greatest nannying bodies, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland, have long been a running joke in this column.

They regularly come across as being utterly out of touch with public opinion, instead reacting to the whims of one or two irate citizens.

And this week the latter have outdone themselves in banning an online video advertisement for Newbridge Silverware, which features Roz Purcell in a series of poses to promote its jewellery range.

The committee decided that they "considered that the poses taken by the model were overtly sexual in nature and were therefore provocative".

They then banned the ad, based on one solitary complaint.

There are two points to be raised regarding this bizarre decision. Firstly, it's wrong. I have seen the ad, and there is nothing offensive about it.

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Sure, Roz Purcell looks well, but she can't help that, and the focus of the camera is almost at all times on the jewellery.

Furthermore, the ad is only online, so presumably the complainant is new to the internet, and unaware of what else lies therein. When they find out, they're going to be busy firing off a lot of letters.

More importantly though, the decision once again highlights the dubious reasoning under which the ASAI continues to operate.

Two years ago, they banned an advertisement for Club Orange because it dared to ask viewers to "look at their bits", but found nothing wrong with a Lynx ad which claimed to solve the problem of male "premature perspiration".

And while objecting to Roz Purcell pouting at the camera fully-clothed to promote jewellery, they have no problem with a man stripping off to promote Diet Coke.

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