NEWS: ASA report sparks calls for poster controls

The outdoor industry is facing calls for a new system of vetting posters to weed out those likely to cause offence, following the glut of complaints about poster campaigns in the latest Advertising Standards Authority report (Campaign, last week).

The outdoor industry is facing calls for a new system of vetting posters

to weed out those likely to cause offence, following the glut of

complaints about poster campaigns in the latest Advertising Standards

Authority report (Campaign, last week).



A number of agencies and poster specialists are warning that the poster

contractors must take responsibility for the nature of the ads they

accept, or risk losing revenue and possibly damaging the credibility of

the medium.



The warnings come as the ASA has ruled that the latest poster campaign

from Benetton, featuring three human hearts, must be removed from poster

sites around the country. The ASA believes that the ad is too offensive

for such a public medium. Benetton’s press work featuring the same image

will not be affected by the ruling.



However, many believe that the poster industry should take steps to

prevent such controversy by screening ads which could potentially cause

offence. Alan Simmons, the chairman of the outdoor specialist, Concord,

has suggested that poster contractors take a close look at new campaigns

from advertisers who have already been given an ASA warning.



‘The Outdoor Advertising Association should consider the automatic pre-

checking of all ads from those advertisers who have received warnings

from the ASA in the past and should ensure that its members do not pass

‘offensive’ material,’ he said.