Outrageous ads not so outrageous

The Wellingtonian 2 July 09
An advertising campaign targeted at central Wellington has outraged some, and left others simply speechless. The campaign features billboards and buses promoting TV3’s drama/comedy Outrageous Fortune. The advertisements are emblazoned with suggestive, partially-worded slogans. Bob McCoskrie, national director of family advocacy group Family First, said the billboards were offensive and “leave little to the imagination”. He said that while the advertisements were not “in your face” offensive, they made it difficult for parents to explain to young children.

TV3 spokesperson Kerry Stubbing said the advertisements were “obviously meant to be in keeping with the risque language and themes used within the show”, but were designed to minimise offence. “We were very conscious of making sure we brought these themes across without offending the public,” said Stubbing.

…McCoskrie said the words did not need to be specifically spelt out to imply an offence. However, he would not be taking the matter further, because he felt the standards authority was “useless” and “it seems a waste of time to complain”. Advertising law expert Dr Selene Mize, of Otago University, said that if there was a complaint, legal issues could arise, depending on where the billboards were located. For example, they could be in breach of the Advertising Standards Authority if they were near a school or kindergarten.