Everyone’s been chattering about the controversial Paddy Power ad-campaign that features odds on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Clearly, it is in very poor taste, but is being tasteless illegal?

Either way, increased scrutiny has ensured that the campaign will be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ad, which you can see below, shows the head of Pistorius superimposed onto an Oscar statue and says: “It’s Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is not found guilty.”

pistpaddy 333x500 Paddy Powers Oscar Pistorius ad to be investigated

The ASA said they are launching the investigation after receiving 46 complaints in two days. Presumably, all the complaints focused on the fact that Paddy Power ostensibly appear to be trying to make some money out of the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

As ever, with anything vaguely topical, an online petition appeared and over 100,000 people signed it asking Paddy Power to withdraw the advert.

The petition said: ”The brutal death of a woman at the hands of her partner is not ‘sport’ or ‘entertainment’ and promoting the opportunity to make money from it is a vile and offensive act which anyone with a sense of human dignity and respect for human life must reject.”

“138 women died in the UK alone as a result of male violence in 2013. This type of random carelessness for the lives of women by Paddy Power is an affront to those women and their families.”

Meanwhile, Paddy Power’s website encouraged “savvy punters” to have a “courtroom flutter”, signing off with: “One thing’s for sure, trial verdicts don’t come much bigger than this.”

Thus far, Paddy Power are not for shifting, saying: ”We are not planning to take down our betting on the Pistorius trial verdict. We have a long history of offering odds on major global news events and the Oscar Pistorius trial is no different.”

Crocodile marketing scares everyone witless

March 3rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

National Geographic have done an advert of a 3D crocodile which is making people poo their pants with terror.

Of course, it is one of those optical illusions that looks rubbish from certain angles. However, when you’re going down an escalator in Brazil and it is at the optimum viewpoint, there’s a very real chance that you could do a small about of wee.

crocodile 322x500 Crocodile marketing scares everyone witless

The ad, shamelessly swiped off Reddit (thanks SAT0725), is a marketing ploy for ‘Mundo Salvagem de Richard Rasmussen’ (which means, roughly, ‘are you ready for adventure in the Brazilian forests? Wild world with Richard Rasmussen’).

You have to say, as marketing goes, this is frighteningly good. Until some old person keels over and dies of a heart attack.

Brazil asks Adidas to withdraw terrible sex tees

February 26th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

Adidas’ new range of crap sexist World Cup t-shirts have offended the Brazilian government, who say they portray an overtly sexualized image of Brazil and could encourage sex tourism.

adidas tee Brazil asks Adidas to withdraw terrible sex tees

The shirts – one which screams ‘I love Brazil’ but instead of a heart, there’s an arse with a thong – and one which says ‘Lookin’ To Score in Brazil’ with a stylized image of a lady in a bikini – apparently go against the country’s official marketing guidelines, which state that there should be no ‘links between national icons and images with sex appeal.’ (Which explains Pele.)

There’s already a huge problem with underage prostitution in Brazil, and the government is concerned that gangs will infiltrate World Cup host cities to provide tourists with even more underage girls. The Brazilian president, Dilma Rouseff, even went onto Twitter to say she wasn’t having any of it.

So Adidas have agreed to stop selling the limited edition shirts, which were really horrible in the first place anyway. HURRAY.

‘Sexy’ e-cig ad makes 1,156 people gag

February 26th, 2014 4 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Another day, another dodgy advert that treats women like sex dolls, this time for VIP e-cigarettes. E-cig advertising is controversial anyway, without making an ad featuring a quite angry looking and aroused woman saying ‘I want to see it. Feel it, hold it. Put it in my mouth.’ HAHA, she’s talking about e-cigarettes, but it’s hilarious because you – yes, you, the saddo on the sofa with the joggies that smell of rotten vegetables – you think she’s talking about your knob!

The classy folks at VIP did a male version (for, you know, balance) with him very helpfully asking: ‘Do you want to see it? I can get it out if you’d like. You can feel it hold it, put it in your mouth and see how great it tastes.’

THEN, the piece de resistance of awfulness was the tagline – ‘if you wanna vape, then vape with VIP’. Geddit? We’re assuming ‘vape’ refers to ‘vapours’ but hey, ‘Vape’ also rhymes with RAPE. HAHA, clever, eh? Someone find that copywriter and give him (let’s hope it’s a him) a huge congratulatory kick in the balls for that one.

Anyway, there have been 1,159 completely justified complaints to the ASA due to the overtly sexualized nature of the ad, which was broadcast in the ad breaks between ‘I’m A Celebrity’ last year.

Clearcast originally cleared the ad to appear after the 9pm watershed, and said that they didn’t think it was demeaning or sexist, it was just suggestive. While the ASA haven’t banned it outright, it can only be broadcast after 11pm.

How about just throwing it in a landfill with all the e-cigarettes?

Angry Beavers ad ban

February 19th, 2014 1 Comment By Lucy Sweet

While nobody would have particularly high hopes for a strip club called ‘Beavers’, there have to be some standards, or society will just fall apart in an avalanche of G-strings, Monster energy drinks and legal highs.
beaver Angry Beavers ad ban

So it’s lucky for the morals of our nation that the Advertising Standards Authority has stepped in to ban an advert that Beavers ran in that most prestigious of er, organs, The Watford Observer.

The ad featured a standard stripper bum with the strapline: ‘Sorry baby, the car broke down.’ Thus hinting that men were stopping off there for a dirty lapdance while the old ball and chain sat fuming at home over a baking tray full of burnt chicken dippers.

The ASA ruled that the text was ‘demeaning to women’ and was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

The decision to make a stripper’s bum take up a third of the ad was also deemed to be ‘irreponsible’ and Beavers was warned not to use filthy pics and hideous Jim Davidson style sexist headlines in a family newspaper.

Ah, if only the ASA had to the power to tell that to The Sun…

Firefox – now with loads of adverts

February 13th, 2014 10 Comments By Mof Gimmers

firefox 300x288 Firefox   now with loads of advertsMozilla’s Firefox browser isn’t the powerhouse it once was, thanks to Google putting the scuppers on it. It could be getting worse too as it will soon be accepting advertisements.

The company is trying to win back users by personalising the overall experience, but also, by embracing ads after years of ignoring them.

In an official blog post, Mozilla said that they’ll be sell ads through a new Directory Tiles initiative. Basically, there’ll be nine rectangular tiles in a new tab. When you open a new tab in Firefox, you’ll get nine blank tiles across the page. Those will fill up with your most-visited and recently visited websites. These tiles will also show “sponsored content.”

“We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better Internet through trust and transparency, and it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project,” said VP of content services, Darren Herman.

“While we have not worked out the entire product roadmap, we are beginning to talk to content partners about the opportunity, and plan to start showing Directory Tiles to new Firefox users as soon as we have the user experience right.”

Of course, other browsers have adverts in them, but if you’ve been sticking with Firefox because it is ad-free, then this will be irritating news.

Sony sell Walkman inside a bottle of water

February 13th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Sony’s Walkman MP3 player is a pretty robust piece of kit, but this year, they launched a waterproof version for swimmers. In a bid to catch people’s eye, they decided to market it – confidently – submerged inside a bottle of water.

That’s a bit mental, but clearly a smart piece of advertising. Have a look at the video below. Might be useful if you want to listen to some sad trombone music in a flooded area.

Zombie Spambot Holocaust

February 12th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade
mondo zombies 300x168 Zombie Spambot Holocaust

some zombies earlier

Anyone who has ever been on Twitter for more than five minutes knows that it has its fair share of zombies, but a recent episode of a user literally being targeted by the undead, has left them a bit cheesed off and distressed.

Asher Wolf had noticed that she’d gained 100 new followers in one big swoop, and on closer inspection, it looked as though the undead had taken a shine to her feed. Noticing that they were all fake account bots, she felt as though someone had signed her up to a zombie botnet thing.

As the day progressed, another several thousand zombies had started following, leading Asher to change the security settings on her Twitter, yet still left with a hoard of bots to report and block, her task no doubt echoing Bauhaus’ “Undead, undead, undead” as she scrolled through them.

After the Australian Twitter office had responded to Asher, she learned that a number of other users had been hit in a similar fashion. Eventually, a tweet arrived from one of the zombies telling her that she’d survived the zombie “outbreak” and that the new series of The Walking Dead was starting at 8.30pm on FXAU that night.

Now understandably outraged, Asher realised that the social media marketing department of a channel she didn’t even subscribe to, had spammed her and others willy nilly about it.

Having located the source of the spam, a company called FutureApp2017, which is connected to The Clemenger Group of companies that specialise in advertising and marketing solutions, which is in turn connected to the Omnicom Group – the largest communications group in the world.

After a quick scan of Section 16 of the Spam Act 2003 showed that if the viral advertising campaign had originated from the Clemenger Group and Foxtel’s FX Australia channel as their client, they may have potentially breached federal law forbidding electronic spam.

If the zombie Twitter bots originated from FX Australia or a paid contractor, then it appears they are also potentially in breach of Twitter’s terms of service, seeing as it looked very much like FX Australia had hired a company to spam people on Twitter.

BrewDog mock Putin’s anti-gay stance with beer

February 4th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

BrewDog are taking the Michael out of Russia’s anti-gay business with a new beer called ‘Hello My Name is Vladimir’, just in time for the Winter Olympics.

The beer carries the sarcastic strapline of ‘not for gays’ alongside an image of Putin himself. The Scottish brewers consider this to be the first ‘protest beer’. BrewDog have also sent a case of the 8.2% IPA to the President himself.

50% of profits from the sale of Hello My Name is Vladimir will be donated to charities that represent oppressed minorities.

Vlad Label copy 3 208x500 BrewDog mock Putins anti gay stance with beer

James Watt, BrewDog co-founder says: “We sincerely hope that when Vladimir Putin is tired from a busy day riding horses with his top off, grappling with burly men on the Judo mat or fishing in his Speedos, he reclines on a velvet chaise longue and has one of his handsome helpers wet his whistle with a glass of Hello My Name is Vladimir.”

“As Hello My Name is Vladimir is clearly marked ‘not for gays’ we should bypass the legislation introduced by Putin outlawing supposed ‘homosexual propaganda’, so Vlad shouldn’t have an issue with it. He might even invite us to ride bareback with him in the Siberian mountains.”

“It’s been our mission at BrewDog to upend the status quo in whatever form it occurs. Whether it’s the stranglehold the mega brewers have had on beer production in Europe over the last 50 years, or in the case of Russia, the sick legislation that discriminates against millions of its citizens. Our core beliefs of freedom, integrity and passion drive all our actions. Since we started in 2007, we’ve always striven to strike fear at the heart of the gatekeepers and establishment, the launch of Hello My Name is Vladimir is simply a continuation of that tradition.”

They always spoil it by talking, don’t they?

Confessions of a Window Company…

February 3rd, 2014 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

If you visit the Halifax Trade Windows website, you’ll find it is a hugely unremarkable place. However, when they run adverts, they are a lot more saucy.

As you can see below, they’re using the kind of chat and imagery you might find in a London phonebox, with risque chat about PVC and all manner of whipping and bondage stuff.

pvc Confessions of a Window Company...

Full marks to anyone who enjoyed and spotted ‘Sod House’ as well.

[spotted by avid Bitterwallet reader, Nikki]

 

Energie Fitness are rather keen to get you down the gym to deal with the post-Christmas bloat and avid Bitterwallet fanboy, Stu Heritage of Luv&Hat, got a text from them with an offer so good, you can barely see it.

He said “Join before 31/1/2014 and pay nothing until 1/2/2014’. The next day. Attaboy, marketing team of a gym I’VE ALREADY JOINED.

daRO6hzQ Energie Fitness and an offer so quick, youll miss it!

Everybody loves Dominos

January 8th, 2014 2 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Yes, it wasn’t just you who had pizza for Christmas dinner – it seems that quite a few of us had Dominos on speed dial during the festive period. The pizza gods have announced that Christmas like for like sales were up by 10% and overall sales for 2013 increased by 15.6% to £170.4m. That’s a LOT of dough balls.

dominos logo 300x164 Everybody loves Dominos

Dominos, whose suspiciously moreish pizzas taste like rain soaked wedges of cheese cardboard, have put it down to online sales and their new lame ass ‘Americana’ ad campaign, which uses the theme tune to Champion the Wonder Horse.

In fact, before the ad campaign, Dominos was in the domindoldrums, after senior executive Lance Batchelor announced he would be leaving – the second big cheese to hand in his notice in six months. Their share price fell by 10% in December, but thanks to the brand update and the highly tempting Winter Survival Deal, it’s riding high.

Ok, so their food makes you feel greasy, morally bankrupt (Dominos are notorious for their right wing and anti-abortion stance) and spiritually unfulfilled – but sod it – we can’t be arsed to cook.

Lucozade ad banned by ASA

January 8th, 2014 7 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Sports drinks – and the people who drink them – are extremely annoying. All that streamlined, blue liquidy nonsense: it’s enough to put you off your pork pie. But the recent Lucozade Sport ad, claiming that it ‘hydrates and fuels you better than water’ made everyone’s eyes roll. Even, it seems, the Advertising Standards Authority, who have banned it.

lucozade sport 179x300 Lucozade ad banned by ASA

The ban follows 63 complaints, one from the National Hydration Council – which say that Lucozade have breached the advertising code. Why? Because they used the word ‘fuel’. The EU code states that in order to advertise a product’s health benefit, the claim must be specific. What the copywriter SHOULD have said was:

‘Carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions contribute to the maintenance of endurance performance during prolonged endurance exercise’

Catchy, eh?

So in the future, health companies like GSK will have to say their products contribute to the ‘maintenance of performance’ instead.

Also, on another slightly more pressing note, the Lucozade claim is kind of b******s, unless you’re Usain Bolt. The National Hydration Council said:

‘For the majority of people participating in exercise and sporting activities, water is all that is needed for effective hydration. The majority of sports drinks contain calories and may only have a positive contribution to make to professional athletes and those participating in high intensity, endurance activity.’

And that ain’t you, January fat man in the gym with a lycra wedgie.

Most internet ads are either annoying (splashy car ads that freeze up your browser) or suspect (‘Try this one WEIRD way to get rid of your belly fat!’). But at the weekend, thousands of Yahoo users were infected with malware thanks to a bunch of dodgy adverts inserted into the Yahoo site.

yahoo logo 300x266 Thousands of Yahoo users hit by malvertisements

The ads have since been taken down, but on Yahoo’s European sites hackers managed to post ads that directed users to a page that hosted something called the ‘Magnitude’ exploit kit. By targeting vulnerabilities in Java, the kit installs a bunch of crap on your computer, including trojans and ad-clicking malware.

Yahoo thinks these ads have been up since December 30th but it could be for longer, and at the moment nobody knows how they got there or even the motivation for the attack. But what makes these malvertisements super evil is that you don’t have to click anything – you just load a trusted website and bad things start to happen. (Unless you’re a Mac user – your shield of First World smugness will have protected you).

On Friday around 27,000 people an hour were being infected in the UK, Romania and France. If you’ve been malvertised at, you need to uninstall Java or disable it in your browser. In fact, you should probably do that anyway, because it’s bloody annoying.

You should also run a software update and update your security software. Oh, and get the hell off Yahoo –do you live in 1994 and buy your coffee at Central Perk?

Bum burgers turn out not to be a good idea

January 3rd, 2014 3 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Burger buns. They’re made of bread. Lovely sweet ‘n’ savoury bread, with sesame seeds on top. They’re not – repeat NOT – made out of women’s arse cheeks, because that would be weird, not to mention a little bit unhygienic.

good time burgers 300x168 Bum burgers turn out not to be a good idea

But try telling that to Australian company Goodtime Burgers. Their ad for a new store in Bondi Beach shows a woman with literally all the fixings, plus burger patty, wedged uncomfortably between her buttocks. Like the worst Christmas poo EVER. The tagline is: ‘The Freshest Fun Between The Buns.’ We can only hope, for everyone’s sake, that it’s Photoshopped.

It’s almost too damn STRANGE to be offensive, but the Australian Advertising Standards Board have acted on a number of complaints against the objectification of women, and the ad has been banned. Goodtime Burgers were adamant it wasn’t sexist (‘what’s wrong with being sexy?’) and countered that it could easily have been a man’s bum.

OH WELL THAT’S OK THEN.

Think I’ll just have a salad.