Thursday, December 28, 2006


An Unoriginal Source Of Frustration

Some time ago, Matt C did a post pointing out some of the more arcane and asinine decisions by the body that adjudicates upon the decency and accuracy of advertising in Britain, the Advertising Standards Authority.

When not wasting tax payers money on their own not-exactly-brilliant ad campaigns, the body makes some of the most preposterous censorship decisions in Britain today.

If you cast your minds back to this summer, you may be able to recall an advertising campaign for a product called 'Original Source shower gel'. The reason you may be able to recall the campaign is that it tried to boost the products 'natural' credentials by featuring actors in the nude - three adverts, one actor in each, two female and one male. Two of the adverts weren't complained about, and can be seen at the official website of the product (why does shower gel need a website?)

The best is yet to come, however. The third advert featured a young-ish looking woman sitting under a lemon tree. Apparently, 29 viewers said that it was offensive because the woman, who was over 18, looked under 16. The advertisers had assumed that this wouldn't be a problem; they had received clearance from the Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) who had said - you're gonna love this:

'The BACC said they endorsed Cusson's comments and added that the model was, if anything, ethereal and androgynous, a sort of creature of nature like a dryad or a nymph, and came across somehow as asexual rather than sexually suggestive.'

If you kept a straight face reading that you did better than me. These are the finest minds in the nation, people! Visit4Info members can judge for themselves whether a thin eighteen year old woman looks more 'like a dryad or a nymph' here. I don't know, she looks like a woman to me:

But then what would I know, I'm not a classically trained pervert after all. The advert was changed; 29 complainants won the day - a magnificent victory over common sense was won (and the hopeless and totally irrelevant BACC was overriden yet again, making it surely the most pointless body in Britain today).

However, it goes on. The more reactionary elements of Fleet Street have done a great job in training their readers to be minor fieldmarshals in the Paedo Wars. The product website contains a messageboard (again, why?) and the Paedofinder generals descended en masse. Here are some of the classic contributions to the national dialectic:

'Too right, I think there is a bit to much body showing, especially the postiions they are in! Any pervert would enjoy it!!!'

Oh, and you would know?

'I agree with Pinkichi, it does not matter whether the Standards people did not saying anything. What does matter is that people still perceive the advert to be of a young girl (specifically underage). In this day in age, we have to be so careful not to enrich the lives of the paedophiles out there. I am waiting for a better response from Original Source before making an official complaint. '

Oh yes, the lives of paedophiles are just great in modern Britain. You know, I hear the government give them free PlayStations, just like the asylum seekers! I mean, it's totally irrelevant that the woman is actually comfortably over 18 years old, what's more important is what paedo's may or may not be thinking. One of the contributors, pinkichi - one of the 29 victorious complainants - deserves a fisk all of their own:

'If your image had been used by a paedo group how would you feel? If one of your children had been used? One of your friends? One of your nieces/nephews?'

Except that nobody has been used by a 'paedo group', nobody was abused - given that the lady is over 18, she obviously chose to be in the advert of her own free will, and I hate scare tactics about 'what if your children were abused?' No one was - so what? (it has to be said, however, that this daft idea has spread - one blog claiming to be 'seeking justice and support for survivors of child sexual abuse' has run the story)

'Unfortunately not everyone out there is innocent and nice.'

So treat everyone you meet with suspicion - after all, you can't be sure about anybody, and unless you're sure they aren't, then they're probably paedophiles.

'I have a big problem if naked children are used for profit. I have no problem with naked adults.'

So, sorry again, but what is your problem with the naked adult in front of you?

'Bottom line you are either for or against child abuse images etc. I know where I stand and have no problems being called a prude etc bring it on!'

I guess that makes me objectively pro child abuse then. Why am I not on the Sex Offenders register already? Come to that, dear reader, why aren't you - after all, you didn't complain to stop the rising tide of not-quite-child-pornography, did you? Shame on you!

I don't understand. Why do these people belive that Paedo's would look to the mainstream media for kicks?

the fact is there are millions of websites that provide filth for perverts- i doubt they'd get much satisfaction from a shower gel advert!

it's political correctness gone mad i tell ya!

in all seriousness, this sort of debate is derivitive. if google and the internet providers can outlaw democratic and other sites deemed 'inappropriate' by the authorities in China, why can't child porn sites be blocked too??
surely this is a more important issue that needs to be discussed!
Happy new year !
Is this really a social climate in which pictures of young looking naked adult women (in not even remotely erotic images) can be classified by any sane human being as paedophillia? I hope not. If this is a prevailing trend then we're all fucked.

Hunt the verminous perverts down I say, lock up these sickos so the real sex cases and peedos can get on with their work as a nation salivates and screams blue murder over images such people 'might' get turned on by. It's the most effective way you know.......

"Any pervert would enjoy it!!!'"

Not especially. I need to see full-on penetration with foreign objects, pained facial expressions, and everyone involved must wear spectacles.
Blood is also acceptable.
Sheesh, fat lot that bastard knows about perversion!
Reminds me big time of that Brass Eye episode...

What up homei, when are you back?
Happy - About your first point, absolutely, I couldn't agree more. As regards your second, the answer lies in the fact that - as I understand it - paedophiles tend to share their material through peer to peer networks, which are much harder to control (as anyone involved in the music industry will attest).

Pam & Ill Man - Thank you! Happy New Years to you too!

SafeT - Lol! Gotta love the spectacles idea. I well remember a senior male acquaintance of mine (not my dad) explaining - when quite drunk - that 'I have to keep my glasses on or I just don't have a clue what's happening down there.'

Tommo - Yo! Back Thursday, bro - see you soon!
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