Gay kissing is no grounds for banning an ad rules ASA

LONDON - The advertising watchdog has cleared a TV ad featuring a gay kiss for broadcast during family programming despite 89 complaints, many of whom objected to children seeing it.

The ad promotes Dolce & Gabbana watches and features a brief kiss on the lips between two men after one of them gives a watch to the other, who is loading shopping into his car. It was created by Italian agency FilmLover.

Nineteen viewers complained that the kiss made the ad unacceptable at any time, but the rest of the objections regarded the fact that children were likely to be watching at the times the ad was on.

According to 17 people, the ad was on during ITV1's 'X Factor' on Saturday evenings, while other saw it during the early evening on channels including ITV2, UKTV History, UKTV Documentary and Hallmark.

The Advertising Standards Authority rejected both complaints, defending the kiss itself and the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre's decision on when the ad should air.

"We did not consider that a kiss between two men automatically made an ad unacceptable for broadcast or that the kiss was in itself grounds for imposing a stricter timing restriction," it said in its ruling.

The BACC had approved the ad for general family viewing but said it should not be shown around programming specifically aimed at children.

Last June, the ASA similarly rejected complaints that a Maxim ad featuring two men kissing was inappropriate around general family viewing. The kiss was different from the D&G ad because one of the men was shown putting his hand over his mouth first and the two men were kissing to trick their girlfriends.

However, a kiss between a teenage boy and girl in an ad for Wanadoo was banned for being too explicit. Tongues could be seen in the kiss.

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