Complaints about ads that "insulted" Christchurch, "mocked"
God, were "sexist" towards crying boyfriends and featured a
man wanting to show another man "his sausage" have been
dismissed by the complaints authority.
In recent rulings, the Advertising Standards Complaints Board
(ASCB) decided there was a lack of evidence to support some
complaints, including that making a joke of crying men was
A champagne ad showed a series of men "crying, staring
wistfully into the middle distance or out the window and
slumped on chairs holding their heads" because their partners
were on a women's night.
It was criticised as being "blatantly sexist" by a
complainant who claimed if the genders were reversed there
would be an outcry.
"I've had enough of sexism against men in the media. This ad
isn't even attempting to be humorous. It just shows men in
emotional distress, then mocks them. It's sick," the
The ASCB said there were precedents to show the level of
acceptance of offensiveness could vary, depending on gender.
It dismissed the complaint and ruled the champagne ad was
"exaggerated and hyperbolic" for satirical humour.
Another complainant alleged the father of the "Countdown
family" made "highly insulting" comments that he did not want
to move to Christchurch.
In a television ad, the father, who is a construction worker,
rolled his eyes as he said there was not a lot of work
"unless we moved down south".
The complainant claimed the "down south" comment could be
interpreted as Christchurch because of the "clear need for
construction workers" in the earthquake recovery.
"I find his body language in respect to the thought of moving
to 'down south' or Christchurch highly insulting to the
people of Christchurch and the rebuild effort," the
The ASCB found Countdown was neither disparaging of
Christchurch nor offensive to its people.
While noting that Christchurch's construction industry was
busy after the earthquakes and the ad's implication would be
that jobs existed in Christchurch, the ASCB said the city was
not specifically mentioned.
A Christian complainant told the board that a Ferrero Rocher
chocolate ad, depicting gods of Olympus and showing the
treats falling from the heavens, was "totally offensive" and
"mocking and demeaning [of] God".
The complainant said the commercial "influences people's
image of God, particularly children".
The complaints board ruled there was nothing in the
advertisement that attacked "the tenants of Christianity or
mocked the Christian God".
The complainant had taken "an extreme interpretation of an
advertisement", the ASCB said.
An advertisement for a meat company where one man offered to
show another man "his sausage" may have been in "poor taste"
but it did not breach the rules, the ASCB said.
The Franklin Country Meats ad on Newstalk ZB featured one man
asking "in a sexual manner" for the other man to see his
sausage, which he says is "nicely wrapped and waiting for
him", a complainant said.
"There is no other meaning to this conversation other than
explicit sexual connotations," the complainant said.
The ASCB said the radio station "promotes itself as aimed at
an intelligent, informed, news-aware and savvy adult
audience" and while the ad "may be in poor taste, the
innuendo did not reach the threshold to breach the
It was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, the
- Kieran Campbell of APNZ