More restrictions on Tourism Australia's 'bloody hell' ad

LONDON - The controversy over the word 'bloody' in Tourism Australia's television ads continues as several complaints have forced the advertising watchdog to ban the spots before 9pm, despite support for the phrase by an Australian minister.

The ads, created by M&C Saatchi, feature various scenes of Australian life, including drinking at a bar, wide open roads and open air restaurants, and end with a bikini-clad woman on a beach asking "So where the bloody hell are you?".

Originally, the BACC ruled not to allow the term "bloody" to be used in the television ads, because it was too rude.

In March, the regulator lifted the ban and said Tourism Australia could broadcast the full tagline for the ads because the word "bloody" was no longer regarded as being too bad a word.

However, 36 viewers objected to the Advertising Standards Authority about the swearing in the ads, which they found offensive. Of these, 16 were also concerned that children might see the ads and eight believed they should not be shown before 9pm.

M&C Saatchi said the use of "bloody hell" had to be looked at in context with the ads and quoted an Australian government minister who apparently said the word "bloody" was "a great Australian adjective. We all say it. It's part of our language".

The ASA considered that parents are entitled to expect that TV advertising should not appear to endorse or encourage swearing.

The watchdog has concluded that the ads are inappropriate for broadcast before 9pm.

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