A Welsh bus company has pulled ads on its buses because they featured a topless model and a slogan that has been described as sexist.
The ads, promoting New Adventure Travel’s new cross-city service in Cardiff, first appeared at the weekend. Soon enough, people were very annoyed. As the picture below shows, the advert reads: ”Ride me all day for £3″
One person tweeted: “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO EXPLAIN THIS AD TO MY PRIMARY SCHOOL KIDS?? Thanks but no thanks, won’t be taking advantage #everydaysexism”. Pop singer Charlotte Church referred to it as “atrocious.”
Of course, for every person angry about it, there was a swathe of people lining up to tut about “SJWs” and generally not seeing what all the fuss was about.
New Adventure Travel published this statement: “In view of the reaction to our bus advertising today we wish to set out our position: Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation. We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily tickets.”
“The slogan of ‘ride me all day for £3′ whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women. Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next twenty four hours.”
Now, it is your turn to complain about stuff.
We all know that businesses stretch the truth in adverts. Sometimes, they tell outrageous porkies too. So, with all that in mind, TalkTalk have had one of their adverts banned after they claimed its broadband connection was a “whopping 99.9pc reliable”.
The Advertising Standards Authority said they weren’t having any of it, and that the claim was in fact, misleading.
The TV commercial offered free unlimited broadband, and said: “TalkTalk would like to wish everyone a … free year. With totally unlimited broadband, free for a whole year, all you pay is £16.70 monthly line rental. Celebrate TalkTalk’s best deal. With sparkling speeds of up to 17 meg, and a network connection that’s a whopping 99.9% reliable.”
Seems the ASA thought it was more a case of a whopper, rather than whopping. The watchdog said that the evidence provided by TalkTalk to back this claim up represented an average of exchanges for its core network from January to August 2014.
The ASA said in its ruling: “We were concerned that consumers would not be aware of the distinction between a provider’s core network and a user’s overall internet connection. We considered most consumers would be interested in the reliability of their end-to-end broadband connection up to the point of their router or into their home, rather than the reliability of certain portions of the overall connection, when making a decision to purchase a broadband package with a particular internet service provider.”
“We also noted that there were external factors that would affect overall connection reliability, which we understood TalkTalk would not have control over. Because the evidence did not substantiate the likely interpretation of the claim, we concluded the ad was misleading.”
So there you go. Not a lie, but not at all useful for customers.
You’ll remember the Protein World advert which made a load of people angry – while the owner of the company said people who were defacing them were ‘terrorists’, they’re not the only ones who want to mock.
Carlsberg decided to do their own response on the London Underground.
While Protein World seemed to actively enjoy the negative attention for their ‘body shaming’ billboard, Carlsberg decided to paraphrase them with a ‘beer body’ ad, as you can see above.
The Carlsberg bottle even has a nice pair of yellow bikini bottoms on, just like the advert it mocked with the “Are you beer body ready?” slogan. This of course prompted “If Carlsberg did adverts, they’d probably do the best adverts in the world’ pun in everyone’s heads.
You may have seen the adverts that ask “are you beach body ready?” to the women of Britain, which has seen a lot of people getting really annoyed. Meal replacement and protein products are being flogged with the promise of thinness, which has seen people daubing the commercials in graffiti.
The irritation is so strong that there’s a Change.org petition, which says that these adverts are “aiming to make [individuals] feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product”.
Whether or not you agree with the vandalism/activism, one thing you’ll invariably find odd is the stance from Protein World Chief Executive Arjun Seth.
Arjun’s response is typically defensive, telling Channel 4 News the adverts are “aspirational”. So far, so typical – one camp being angry and the other saying ‘what’s the fuss?’
Seth then added something quite bizarre. He noted that he’d only take notice of the petition if it got 1,000,000 signatures, and then dismissed those that had already signed it, by saying: “They’re terrorists, you can quote me on that”. Terrorists! You can imagine that someone who has had their legs blown off by terrorists is thrilled to learn that Protein World feels that they’ve been the victim of terrorist action, by people drawing on some posters with pens.
Seth added that this controversy is good for business: “It’s good – we gained about 20,000 followers in the last few days. Sales have gone up significantly. What people like is we are standing up for our brand,” adding that campaigners are “extremist, they shout a lot, these people are irrational and extremist, vandalising adverts”.
Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority are weighing up what they’re going to do about all this, with no immediate decision made.
The internet, as you know, is full of adverts. Websites absolutely need them to pay for themselves. However, should you be forced to look at them?
Well, you’ll also know that you can get software that blocks pop-ups and other ads, allowing you to read articles without being shrieked at by a loans company or an eye-melting animating thing telling you that you’ve won a prize.
Over in Germany, a group of media companies took AdBlock Plus to court. They said it was threatening their business and that the whole thing is anti-competitive and, of course, they wanted it to be shut down.
However, much to the dismay of the media outlets, a court ruled in favour of allowing people to continue to block ads.
“Now that the legalities are out of the way, we want to reach out to other publishers and advertisers and content creators and encourage them to work with Adblock Plus rather than against us,” said AdBlock’s project manager, Ben Williams. It makes sense that, instead of spending all their time fighting someone, it’d be more fruitful to work out another way of doing things, right?
Well, this is media and if there’s something that the media hates, it is change. Instead of working with AdBlock, the group immediately put an appeal in and they’ll continue to fight AdBlock. Their business can’t be under threat too much, if they can afford to keep forking out for expensive legal cases.
The group said: “We are still convinced that AdBlock Plus is an illegal and anti-competitive practice.” They added that they feel the blocking of adverts “infringes” on the freedom of the press and will “examine the prospects” of an appeal.
There was a fair bit of hubbub surrounding Amazon’s Prime and how it changed from a free trial to a paid-for service.
The Advertising Standards Authority have banned one of Amazon’s adverts, which was a direct mailing advert, which offered a “free trial” of the Prime delivery service, saying that it misled consumers on the now infamous subscription fees.
So what’s the beef?
Well, the ASA’s ruling came about after their were complaints about a card that crowed about a “30-day free trial”, which wasn’t prominent or clear enough when pointing out that a paid subscription would kick-in automatically if the service wasn’t cancelled during the trial period.
In addition to that, the regulator noted that the ad for the instant video element of Prime also didn’t point out the cost of a subscription.
The letter itself said: “Dear [name], I’m sending you this letter because I want you to know that you are eligible for a free trial of Amazon Prime … Start your 30-day free trial today and watch as much as you want … That’s all there is to it …”
It did say; “Paid subscription starts automatically after free trial unless cancelled,” in the small print, and Amazon pointed out that the advert repeatedly said the “free” element was time-limited. The company also pointed out that in all occasions bar one, the word “free” was preceded by “30-day”.
The ASA weren’t having it and said: ”We did not consider that it was sufficient to include the information about the automatic paid subscription in the small print of the ad only and therefore did not consider that that information was sufficiently prominent to make clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of the offer.”
“We concluded the ad was likely to mislead.”
The Advertising Standards Authority concluded that this particular advert for Amazon Prime was misleading and it mustn’t appear again in its current form.
It isn’t Wonga’s decision though, as Albion – the company that came up with loan laden nana – have decided to split from the company.
A spokesperson for Albion said that, while they think they created “memorable work”, there have been “certain practices that we now know went on… during the tenure of our relationship that we were unaware of and that we categorically do not agree with.”
Interesting. Creative agencies are morally dubious at the best of times, so if they can’t work with a payday loan company, that’s either particularly damning or they’re just trying to look good in front of future businesses they’ll be pitching at.
Albion are obviously referencing that fact that Wonga was fined £2.6m by the Financial Conduct Authority for using thousands of fake legal letters to harass their own customers. In addition to that, payday loan companies have had to cut their fees after a crackdown by authorities.
A Wonga spokesperson said: “We’re committed to building a responsible, sustainable business and to communicating with the right customers in the right way.”
It is incredibly difficult to get your adverts noticed above everyone else’s, but one crematorium has hit on something that’s got people talking about them – being so dark and weird that it chills people’s blood.
Adverts for St Louis Cremation, which ran in a magazine called Town and Style St Louis Magazine, have ended up online. For all the world, they look like bleak riddles left by a serial killer.
For example, look at this horrifying thing.
Honestly. It’s enough to make you cry all the water out of your body. There’s more too, and every single one of them feels like a coded message from someone who could strike again.
AAAARGH! THEY’RE HORRIBLE!
The St Louis Cremation crew have this to say: ”Thank you all for your feedback in regards to our marketing campaign. Our most recent advertisement was intended to be a lighthearted ad with no underlying message. We missed the mark on getting our intended message to the public. Our intent was for top of mind awareness, not a call to action. We plan to discontinue this campaign and to pour all of our efforts into what we do best: taking care of our families by honouring their loved ones.”
We’re now looking for secret messages in that too…
Imagine you’re on a blind date and you meet an attractive woman and, being a man’s man (in reality or in your head), you decide to impress her with tales of how much you like to party or whatever.
At some point, you get into her car and you decide to help her with her driving. In this Ford hidden-camera blind date, it is at this point when things get interesting.
As you can see, the men are taken on the razz of their lives and the lady in question reveals herself to be a professional stunt driver. Most of the men in the clip take it in the fun it was intended, which is nice.
We guarantee that the folks of Bitterwallet would’ve been filmed sobbing and then tipping our soiled undergarments out onto the pavement while the stunt-woman wrung the vomit out of our hair.
Well, after the Big Brother TV Sets debacle with Samsung, we now hear of one of their smart TVs inserting commercials into a video that were stored locally on a Plex media server. The Reddit user in question complained that a Pepsi ad played while they were watching shows and movies on his Samsung television.
Of course, this could well be a look into the future as advertisers try and get their wares into as many platforms as possible. However, in this case, it looks like it was an error Samsung’s part, with a bit of faulty programming.
It seems a few people have had this problem and it isn’t happening on sets made by anyone else. A recent software update seems to be the cause of this particular irritant.
The way to stop this happening, if you’re the owner of a Samsung TV set, is to click “disagree with the Yahoo Privacy Notice” in the options in your Samsung’s Smart Hub options.
However, this does appear to be something Samsung are interested in, as in 2014, the company said that they were looking at “interactive experiences” which will be offered to people on an ‘opt-in’ basis.
Both issues are have a similarity though – it appears that Samsung are treating your data with a reasonable amount of recklessness and, if they don’t get these problems sorted, they might find that customers are going to lose all confidence in them.
So with that, they’re continuing the fight against bad advertising practices, and Google’s Adwords platform, disabled over half a billion adverts last year. That’s a whopping amount! In addition to this, over 214k advertisers were banned and 250k sites were removed from the network because they’d been hiding malware, spyware and other forms of internet bleakness inside themselves.
Things that were most prevalent were 4.3m adverts that violated AdWords copyright infringement policies (over 4.3 million ads), adverts that employed trick-to-click approaches (over 43 million), advertisers trying to sell knock-off goods (in advance of 7k), those that practised phishing (more than 5k) and adverts for healthcare related violations (over 9.6 million).
That’s a lot of admin.
“Overall, we disabled more than 524 million bad ads and banned more than 214,000 advertisers in 2014″ said Vikaram Gupta, Director of Ads Engineering.
Sadly, you’ll still probably see weird muscle-men and women’s buttocks with blue dotted lines drawn on them all over your Facebook feed for the foreseeable.
London’s Boris Bikes are being deserted by Barclays and now, all set to be sponsored by Santander, who will be throwing £50m at the enterprise in a long-term deal.
They’re obviously trying to win some hearts and minds, after they recently announced that they were putting another £20m aside for PPI mis-selling, and providing money for London’s cycling scheme might be just the thing for them.
They’re inevitably hoping that everyone will start calling them Santander Cycles, but then, no-one called them Barclays Bikes and indeed, Ken Livingstone came up with the idea, but Boris was London’s mayor when they launched, so Santander can whistle.
That said, the bank is well known for advertising around things that are active – you’ll note that they have sponsorship agreements with Rory McIlroy, Jenson Button and Jessica Ennis-Hill. While there’s no formal contract signed just yet, it looks like Boris Bikes will be branded red, rather than cyan, next week.
A source says that Santander will be paying £7.5m annually for seven years on more than 10,000 bicycles across London. However, Coca Cola have been trying to sponsor the bikes too, so they might make a last minute attempt to scupper the bank’s deal.
Graeme Craig, TfL’s director of commercial development, said: “We are currently going through the final stages of the contractual process to appoint the new sponsor of London’s Cycle Hire scheme, and will announce it in due course. We’re at a really exciting point in the evolution of Cycle Hire, including record numbers of users in 2014.”
“The new sponsor will have the exceptional opportunity to be entwined within the fabric of London and help us deliver the scheme further to get even more people on to two wheels.”
This news occurs just as there’s suggestions that unused Underground lines and stations could become an underground cycling network in London, complete with a special pavement which would power the network with kinetic energy. All very futuristic.
There are bad cyclists. There are bad drivers too. When you mention either, people from either side start screaming at each other, before someone spoils it all by mentioning road tax and immediately forfeiting the argument.
Worse than both camps are people who work in advertising and, combining the war between motorists and cycling enthusiasts, one advert has appeared which is in rather poor taste indeed.
Basically, we see that a taxi has run a cyclist over. Y’know… because people getting hit by cars is funny in 2015?
Westminster Insurance ran their commercial in the latest copy of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association Magazine (a thrilling read which covers ‘ice breakers for when you want to indulge in small talk with someone who has their headphones in’ and ’10 anecdotes about drunken customers you’ve had’) which advises that cabbies have cameras fitted in their taxi, so they can get a 10% discount on their insurance.
To convey this message, the accompanying image shows a cyclist lying on the ground while being shouted at by a judge alongside: “A fitted camera in your taxi is like having a witness and a barrister permanently with you.”
The amount of cyclists that have been killed on the roads of the UK, this advert will surely be a bit of light relief for all those widows and bereaved families! Of course, not forgetting the real victims of the road – drivers who have been a bit inconvenienced by someone on a bike.
Either way, the funny thing here is that these cameras can convict drivers, as well as cyclists. Maybe it would be a good thing if everyone on the road got rigged up with cameras, like we’ve seen in Russia.
Newcastle Brown Ale have been mocking the rest of the booze world’s marketing for a while now. Remember the Broon taking the Michael out of Stella Artois for using the word chalice?
Well, they’re at it again with their ‘No Bollocks’ stance, this time, getting the wonderful Aubrey Plaza to do their ads where they look to America and the Super Bowl to… well… be really sarcastic.
And there’s more. Newcy Brown are going all out to mock the very thing they’re spending money on. Basically, Newcastle Brown Ale has gone full-on meta.
Broon are threatening a whole load more too. Check NewcastleBandOfBrands.com for more. Looks like they’re onto a winner with these.
Ikea have come up with quite a clever advert as part of their ‘Wonderful Everyday’ campaign.
The ad sees flocks of t-shirts migrate back to homes with stylish Ikea storage solutions. It’s quite good. Have a butchers below. The 60-second ‘Joy of Storage’ commercial hits screens on 10th January across the UK and Ireland before print, digital and outdoor in the following weeks.
Ikea UK and Ireland marketing manager, Peter Wright, explained that the brand wants to move people’s thoughts away from seeing storage as simply a functional part of the home.
And he’s spouted a load of guff to back this up.
“Whether you have a detached house in the country or a one-bed flat in town, we know that there is joy and satisfaction in giving the things you love a home, whatever your storage needs are. The Joy of Storage is about the time saved and the stress reduced when you have things easily to hand, stored out of sight, or the freedom you get when things are in order.”
Freedom, everyone. FREEDOM.