Ads: we love to hate them

June 9, 2010
By

I don’t watch a lot of ads on TV. That’s one of the best things about MySky. 

For years I worked night shift so all the prime-time telly I watched was recorded earlier and I was able to fast forward the ads. Then, when I moved into a day job a couple of years ago, I discovered I had an inability to watch ads. Ad adversion, if you like (pun completely intended).

So I continued on my merry way, recording programmes and watching them later, always operating one programme behind. Until I bought my hard drive DVD recorder, and then I was able to watch as I was recording. Even better, that meant I was just about half an hour behind live TV.

Now, with MySky, I can record all sorts of crap on all sorts of channels while watching something else I recorded earlier. And all the while, fast-forwarding the ads.

It seems I’m not alone in my dislike of the things: last year there were 1339 complaints about 829 ads. The most offensive to us sensitive Kiwis was, apparently, the Hell Pizza billboard ads for gluten-free brownies, which carried the phrase: “at least our brownie won’t eat your pet dog”. Oh dear. And if you don’t know what that was referring to, click here.

For me, the most offensive ad on telly are those Countdown ads with Richard Till. Who is this man and why does he yell at me about Countdown?

Anyway, the top 10 from last year were:

  • Hell Pizza, billboard. “At least our brownies won’t eat your pet dog”. (62 complaints, racist). Upheld.
  •  Stihl chainsaw, television. Dying man tells son to “look after your mother”, but the son reports the old man has left him the chainsaw. (52, bad taste, insensitive). Not upheld.
  • Erotica Lifestyles Expo, billboard. Two nuns praying, one “good by day” the other “naughty by night”. (45, morally and religiously offensive). Not upheld.
  • U tampons, television. A woman accompanied by an animated beaver is implored to give it tampons as “you’ve only got one”. (44, objectified and degraded women). Not upheld.
  • ASB Bank, website, billboard, in-store, bus. “We’ve been a Kiwi Bank since 1847″, creating the impression it is New Zealand-owned. (25, misleading). Not upheld.
  • ACC, newspaper. Ad explained ACC motorcycle levies, but motorcyclists said it overstated their chances of having a claim-related accident. (20, misleading). Not upheld.
  • Widex hearing aids, billboard. Woman wearing only a coat, high heels and stockings, with a message “to hear no evil would be a bit of a shame”. (19, offensive to women). Not upheld.
  • Sky TV, television. Viewers told they can “escape” a bad day using MYSKY, with one unfortunate shown having his hands chomped off by a shark. (19, violent and offensive). Not upheld.
  • Cadbury, television. Ad for Moro chocolate bar showed a brief clip of two horses mating. (10, offensive and unsuitable for children). Not upheld.
  • Coca Cola, television. Under-dressed women dancing around a newly single man, who says “you don’t want to be with one woman, when there are so many women out there”. (10, discriminatory toward women). Settled, withdrawn by advertiser.

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