ITC orders Carling's 'frustration' spot to be shown after 9pm

The Independent Television Commission has upheld 38 complaints about the "sexual and adult theme" of Carling Black Label's "frustration" TV spot, which was the most complained about ad in August.

The particularly problematic scenes in the ad included the one in which the man licked the tap head and inserted his tongue up the spout, and the final scene when he realised that the beer had ran out and that he was not going to be able to lick his partner clean. Here the ITC ruled that the sexual analogy was clear - a formerly erect tongue drooped.

The ITC said it was clear from the man's actions and his partner's response to them that he was mimicking oral sex and therefore the ad was unsuitable for a children's audience.

The BACC had originally given the ad approval subject to the normal alcohol restrictions and claimed it did not feel that children would understand the sexual innuendo of the final sequence. It also said that the complaints had probably come from people who had been embarrassed by the advertisement when they saw it with children.

The complainants, most of whom had seen it during live World Cup matches, said they thought that the ad was inappropriate for scheduling when children could be watching.

The ITC accepted that the volume of complaints was partly due to the scheduling of the ad during the World Cup, which had attracted an unexpectedly large child audience. But it did have concerns about the sexual and adult theme and therefore instructed the BACC to restrict transmission of the ad until after the 9pm watershed.

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