An advertisement for a fantasy football Sun newspaper competition which offered a date with a Page 3 girl as a prize has been banned and branded “sexist and demeaning”.By real people, or by the sort of rabid harridans we can expect to marshal their forces into battle over this sort of thing?
Complaints, many submitted via campaigning platform SumOfUs.org, said that the offer of a date was sexist, demeaning, offensive and objectified women.Ah. That says it all, doesn’t it?
A spokesman for the Sun said the paper was deeply disappointed at the ban, adding that numerous companies run promotions using the competition mechanic of winning a special date.
“We believe that the email and prize was an obviously lighthearted marketing exercise,” he added.
“We note that there have been countless campaigns of a broadly similar, light-hearted nature run by other companies – including those involving a ‘win a date with’ scenario – which have not been ruled ‘socially inappropriate’ by the ASA. We will abide by the judgment, but wish to register our deep disappointment at this decision.”Perhaps not abiding by it might change things quicker?
News UK, publisher of the Sun, had argued in its submission to the ASA defending the promotion that it was “appropriate” for the target audience – 93% of email recipients were male – and that it would not offend them.It doesn’t seem to matter these days whether your target audience is offended – you have to avoid ‘offending’ the sort of people who make it their life’s work to find things to be offended about.
And how can anyone possibly do that?