herald

Monday 11 December 2017

'MILF' too strong a term for airwaves

RADIO watchdogs have deemed the acronym MILF as too offensive for the airwaves.

The term, made famous by the popular film American Pie in 1999, featured in an advert campaign by mobile giant Telefonica, the parent company of O2.

But yesterday the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) upheld a number of complaints about the advert and is now pulling the acronym from air.

In the ad, a young man states: "I will think with my pants, heart and head. In that order. At least once I'll spend the weekend spanking some MILF."

However, complaints found the use of the term, which stands for Mother I'd like to F***, as an "undesirable innuendo which went further than being distasteful".

The campaign was for a new mobile network called 48, and aimed at young people aged 18-22.

It is not the first time it has attracted controversy, as it has previously received criticism for TV ads which are said to give a strong suggestion of sexual activity.

The ads, which feature a girl's boyfriend going off with another woman and outdoor ads featuring images of a girl lying on top of a topless man were found to be "sexually exploitative for an unrelated marketing purpose".

The ASAI also upheld complaints regarding online ads, which involves a girl's shirt opening when you hover the mouse over it and a model unzipping another girl's top.

But the advertisers defended the campaign, saying "it reflected the lifestyles of people aged 18-22, including first jobs, college assignments and the opposite sex".

However, the ASAI found the campaign solely focused on sexuality, and could cause young people unnecessary social pressure.

They implored media members, such as TV and radio stations, newspapers and magazines and many online sites, not to accept ads found to be in breach of the advertising code.

Frank Goodman, chief executive of the ASAI, said that they do not usually impose fines although they have the power to do so, as most advertisers and media pull a campaign found to be breaching advertising standards.

Miriam O'Callaghan last year expressed her shock at being named the country's number one MILF.

The RTE Prime Time presenter, who has carved out an impressive career as one of our most respected broadcasters, was shocked after a PR firm labelled her with the derogatory term. The mum-of-eight told the Herald that the accolade would not be going "anywhere near her house".

Pembroke Communications issued survey results ahead of a Mother's Day promotion, where she was voted, by overwhelming majority, to be the country's hottest mum.

However, they referred to her as the number one MILF. The ever-diplomatic Miriam said: "I am always honoured and flattered when people vote for me to win any award. I never believe I deserve any of them.

"So, of course, I am pleased and would like to say thank you to all who voted for me. I'm not even going to comment on the way it's been labelled by some."

A massive 53pc of voters chose Miriam as their choice of the country's hottest mum, but the press release was headlined, 'Miriam O'Callaghan is voted Ireland's favourite MILF', despite the fact that the slang term was not featured in the survey.

hnews@herald.ie

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