FauxPolitik

Friday, March 17, 2006

Those funny Brits: From The Weekly Round-Up, silicon.com's Friday newsletter (subscription required):
Moving on, one established online brand, lastminute.com, found itself thrust
into the spotlight this week following a ruling by the Advertising Standards
Agency relating to some of the company's promotional material.
Everybody's favourite travel and entertainment website recently ran an advertising campaign
publicising special offers on children's tickets for shows in London's West End.
The problem was they chose the slogan: "Like Gary Glitter in a sweet shop, you too can have your pick of kiddy treats in London's theatre world."
No really, they did.
Since launching the ad in one of its popular HTML emails, and enjoying some subsequent conversations with the ASA, lastminute.com has admitted there is a line in the sand and the company has accepted that on that occasion it crossed it.
Mentioning the name of a registered sex offender in order to advertise children's theatre tickets,
lastminute.com conceded, was a bit much.
You don't say.
A statement from the ASA said: "The ASA noted the ad played on contemporary, tasteless humour... We considered the reference to a registered sex offender in conjunction with
images of children in an ad for children's theatre was likely to cause serious or widespread offence."
The Round-Up raises an eyebrow at the slightly nonchalant tone of: "The ASA noted...". As though they were perhaps sat around, sipping coffee, shooting the breeze when one of them said: "Hang on a minute... that lastminute.com email with Gary Glitter... does anybody else think that's a touch close to the bone?"
The ASA said lastminute.com had expressed regret that the email had caused offence and added: "They said their aim was to create advertising which stood out."
And they certainly did that.

I mention it only because I know how fauxpolitik likes to follow everything Gary Glitter.

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