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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 13:43 GMT
'Offensive' Ali G poster banned
Ali G
Ali G has the new number one film in the UK
A poster publicising spoof rapper Ali G's new movie has been withdrawn by advertising watchdogs after it was deemed to be too offensive.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has demanded the withdrawal of the picture showing the character, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, with his hand resting on a naked woman's bottom.


This poster clearly caused serious offence to many who saw it

Christopher Graham, ASA
More than 100 people complained that the image was unsuitable in a public place where children could see it.

The film's distributors, United International Pictures UK (UIP), have been told that they will have all future posters pre-vetted for the next two years.

But the controversy has not harmed the film it was publicising, Ali G In Da House, which opened across the UK last Friday and has proved to be a hit.

'Risqué'

It went straight in at number one over the weekend, taking more than £3.2m, just ahead of animated children's adventure Ice Age.

ASA director general Christopher Graham said it was right to remove the picture, adding: "This poster clearly caused serious offence to many who saw it and we have acted promptly to ensure that the image is taken down and stays down.

"Only one poster contractor had accepted the poster for display and it did so against advice."

Sophie Dahl's poster sparked controversy
Sophie Dahl's poster also sparked controversy
UIP said they did not mean to cause offence and admitted the poster was "risqué".

Under the current rules tobacco products are the only adverts which need to be approved.

Last year Yves Saint Laurent got into trouble when more than 1,000 people complained about a controversial poster featuring model Sophie Dahl posing naked.

The advert for Opium perfume was banned after the ASA ruled they were offensive and degrading to women.

See also:

20 Mar 02 | Reviews
Ali G keeps it real
20 Feb 02 | England
'Ladyboy' advert branded insulting
07 Feb 02 | Health
Slimming adverts 'misleading'
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