Wednesday, November 4, 1998 Published at 10:56 GMT
Censor order over 'offensive' ads
"Irresponsible": The Campaign for Racial Equality's ad
Advertising watchdogs have ordered two advertisers to submit future posters for approval after their campaigns received nationwide complaints.
The ASA said each organisation must submit posters to be "pre-vetted" for the next two years.
The new procedure is part of a move to combat the advertising watchdog's increased concern about advertisers using shock tactics to generate publicity.
Talk Radio defended its advertisement - which depicted a naked woman with a barcode printed on her buttock to promote a forthcoming debate on prostitution - as "relevant and visually arresting".
But the ASA upheld 78 complaints against it, saying that the nudity was "unnecessary and shocking" and the barcode was likely to cause offence.
Talk Radio has been in trouble with the authority before, over a February 1997 advert featuring a lewd hand gesture, and becomes only the second advertiser after the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) to be subject to the new pre-vetting regulations.
One of the adverts, for an imaginary brand of rape alarm, featured a young white woman on a bus looking nervously at a black passenger, above the caption: "Because It's a Jungle Out There".
The campaign, which received 27 complaints, was censured because the ASA "considered that the approach used was irresponsible and concluded that the posters were likely to cause serious or widespread offence".
The police also warned that they could provoke racial violence.
The CRE sought to offset publication of the watchdog's report on Monday with the launch of a new, approved campaign apparently apologising for its own existence.
Prejudice and discrimination
The new posters feature the slogan "Sorry We Exist".
CRE Chairman Sir Herman Ouseley said: "The purpose of this latest advert is both to highlight the amount of work still to be done to end discrimination and to stress that if everyone took action to deal with prejudice and discrimination we would justifiably be out of business."
A new winter campaign by Help the Aged, also unveiled on Monday, is likely to be next in the ASA's firing line.
The advert features eight pairs of feet in a morgue above the caption: "Thousands of elderly people will stop feeling the cold this winter."
It has drawn criticism from pensioners' groups and several national newspapers have refused to carry it.