campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 12 December 2000 12:00AM
- Most British consumers want offensive language banished from ads, including TV commercials screened after the 9pm watershed, as well as strict controls on posters.
But they are prepared to be more tolerant of swear words being used in newspapers and magazines they have paid for.
These are the verdicts of new research commissioned by advertising and TV watchdogs into how much offensive language people are prepared to put up with in ads and TV programmes.
The "c" word topped the list of expletives the 1,033 adults questioned by NOP researchers were least prepared to accept followed closely by "motherfucker" and "fuck" and "wanker".
But the study also found people had become more sensitive about racist abuse since similar research was carried out two years ago.
The term "nigger" moved from 11th to fifth position in the list of words causing people most concern while "Paki" jumped from 17th spot to tenth.
Most of those questioned said they were more prepared to tolerate swearing in TV programmes rather than in commercials or posters.
Eight out of ten people also insisted that commercials should not contain strong language even if they were transmitted after the watershed.
Ninety-five per cent of those questioned called for strict controls on strong language on posters because they can be seen by children.
The study, called Delete Expletives?, was carried out on behalf of the Advertising Standards Authority, the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Independent Television Commission and the BBC.
Christopher Graham, the ASA's director general, said: "This research will help advertisers to distinguish between what might be acceptable in targeted media, such as magazines, and what causes offence on posters in the high street.
Patricia Hodgson, the ITC's chief executive, claimed the study clearly showed that strong language was still a matter of great concern to viewers.
"We expect broadcasters and TV advertisers to take careful note of these findings," she said.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk