NEWS: Live TV taunts ASA with Carling and Diana photo

Live TV, Mirror Group’s cable TV channel, has turned up the heat in its dispute with the Advertising Standards Authority over a print ad that was banned after offending the Queen.

Live TV, Mirror Group’s cable TV channel, has turned up the heat in its

dispute with the Advertising Standards Authority over a print ad that

was banned after offending the Queen.



The station initially threatened to defy the ban by the advertising

watchdogs, who have backed demands by the Queen to withdraw the press

and poster ad in which a grinning Paul Gascoigne appears to be kissing

the Princess of Wales (see story, p6).



However, Mirror TV’s managing director, Kelvin MacKenzie, has now

ordered Young and Rubicam to come up with a remake, in which Gascoigne’s

head is replaced by that of Will Carling, the rugby player with whom

Princess Diana has been romantically linked.



The original ad was banned because of a clause in the ASA’s code of

practice that prohibits the use of members of the Royal Family in ads

without prior approval from the Lord Chancellor.



Caroline Crawford, the ASA’s director of communications, said the use of

Carling may well cause offence, in addition to transgressing the same

clause. She also called into question the likelihood of media owners,

who help write the self-regulatory codes, accepting the ad.



‘Although Live TV may go to the expense of changing the artwork, it will

find it difficult to get the ad published,’ she commented.



‘Media owners support the ASA codes. If they print this ad they will be

in breach of their own codes, which would be very unusual,’ Crawford

continued.



However, MacKenzie, who has labelled the ‘no Royals’ clause ‘arcane’ and

‘outdated’, was unrepentant. He told Campaign: ‘Live TV is a fun station

and this was a fun ad. Obviously, the Queen and the ASA can’t see the

joke, so we’ve got our creative team to come up with another ad to

replace it. We hope it’s more historically accurate.’



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