Advertising featuring outrageous comments from a TV show hosted by
the controversial Howard Stern - including an observation that ’It’s OK
for a man to commit adultery if his wife is ugly’- has been banned by
Religious and community groups were among more than 200 objectors
calling on the Advertising Standards Authority to act.
Now the ASA has demanded the withdrawal of the advertising - produced by
Mother to promote the Bravo TV channel - ruling it to be both offensive
The row blew up over a series of posters with quotes lifted from the
show fronted by the US shock-jock. One carried the comment that ’An ugly
man with no money might as well cut off his penis’. Another quoted one
of the show’s participants as saying: ’I’m so turned on I’m even holding
in my gas.’
Bravo argued that, while Stern’s humour was not to everybody’s taste,
the posters reflected it accurately.
The channel also insisted that the jokes reflected a style of humour
which had been around for many years and that use of the word ’penis’
was acceptable because it was widely used and less offensive than its
The ASA is allowing the channel to continue running another poster using
the line: ’I like animals as much as the next guy but if I am hungry
I’ll eat a panda sandwich.’
Mother has also come under fire from the ASA for trivialising violence
and death and for linking alcohol drinking and swimming in a poster
promoting Whitbread’s vodka-based drink, Vodka Source.
The poster showed two woman on floats in a swimming pool while using the
body of a waiter, floating face down in the water, as a tray.
But the ASA threw out complaints that a national press ad for Pimm’s
associated alcohol with water-related activity with references to ’the
splash of a swimming pool’ against an aquamarine background.