Advertising watchdogs have issued a warning about the growing use
of daring creative treatments in teaser campaigns, amid concerns that
some are becoming offensive and irresponsible.
The call for greater sensitivity comes from the Advertising Standards
Authority, which has backed 34 complaints about a poster which claimed
that ’61 per cent of children aged 12 have had sex’.
The ASA’s action follows concern over other ’teasers’, including a
direct mailing which caused uproar in one home because it appeared to
come from the recipient’s exotically named lover.
’Most people enjoy a good joke,’ the ASA report reads. ’But advertisers
should take care to consider the effect of the individual elements of a
teaser campaign if they are seen in isolation.’
The controversy has been given fresh impetus by an Ogilvy & Mather
campaign which used the exaggerated under-age sex claim as part of
series of ads to publicise a national debate about social issues. The
plan was to run the posters for a week before covering their provocative
messages with the line: ’The statistics of the future haven’t been
written yet. Don’t let someone else write them for you.’
The ASA ruled that phoney facts about a subject on which people were
sensitive were not sufficiently exaggerated to make them unbelievable
and might make children vulnerable to peer pressure to have under-age