Advertising Spencer foo

Most complained ads:

Paddy Power plc

How many complaints were received? 5,525 complaints

What was the nature of the complaints (link to the advertising regulations)? Complainants, who variously believed the ad was insensitive by trivialising the issues surrounding a murder trial, the death of a woman and also disability, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

What was the ruling (upheld or not upheld) Upheld

What explanation was given for the ruling? "We acknowledged that the ad had appeared in the context of a high profile murder trial that had received extensive media coverage and was of interest to the public. We considered it would therefore have been reasonable to foresee that serious or widespread offence was likely to be caused by placing an ad that sought commercial advantage based on that trial and which made light of the sensitive issues involved. Given the content of the ad, and the prevailing circumstances at the time of its publication, we concluded that it brought advertising into disrepute."

British Heart Foundation

How many complaints were received? 219 complaints

What was the nature of the complaints (link to the advertising regulations)? Complainants considered the ad to be distressing for adults and children to see.

What was the ruling (upheld or not upheld) Not upheld

What explanation was given for the ruling?- "We noted that the ad had been scheduled to not appear around children’s programming. We also recognised that some people might find the ad upsetting but judged it was unlikely to cause widespread distress."

Department of Health

How many complaints were received? 181 complaints

What was the nature of the complaints (link to the advertising regulations)? We received complaints that the ads were graphic and gruesome and were therefore offensive and irresponsible.

What was the ruling (upheld or not upheld) Not upheld

What explanation was given for the ruling?- "We acknowledged that some people might find the ads unsettling but noted that they also contained an important health message. We concluded that the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."

Who regulates ads?

In the UK the ASA regulates the ads. They are independant and their judging council is made up of people from all walks of life. Their motto is "legal, decent, honest, truthful".

Ad Regulation

  • No sexism
  • No racism
  • Can't be misleading
  • Nothing inappropriate
  • No false information
  • No one should be discriminated because of a disability
  • No objectification
  • No taboo
  • Nothing offensive
  • Appropriate advertising placement

Advertising standards and censorship

Identify the groups of people who appear to be most vulnerable to advertising. That is, who are the regulators trying to protect?

The younger audience is more vulnerable .

Adverts for which products are most strictly regulated? Why do you think this is?

Medication because if they were misleading, people could die from taking the wrong medication.

In a group, discuss whether you think adverts need to be regulated. What harm might they do (if any)?

They could harm you by giving you the wrong information and they could hurt you physically. Sometimes they could expose you to things that could scar you mentally.

Create your own set of regulations - about 10 rules which you think should apply to advertisers.

Look at these (controversial) ads from the clothing company Benetton. Would they pass your set of regulations? Would you ban them? Be prepared to explain why or why not.

What are these advertising?--> They are advertising Maltesers chocolate and Craven 'A' cigarettes

What claims are being made for these products--> They claim that cigarettes good for your health and the chocolate make you skinnier.

What image are they portraying-->Chocolate doesn't make you fat and cigarettes are good for your throat. They are also lying to the audience because they can't prove that cigarettes and chocolate are good for you.

Could companies make the same claims today?Why/why not?-->Yes and no because there is scientific research that prove that these products are bad for your health and there are also more and more cases of throat cancer. However, they could say that this is a new invention that doesn't affect your health and it will take some time for the research to prove otherwise.


Diversity Homework Answer: It suggests that diversity in today's media is not very common because the ideal person would be a white person with blue eyes etc. So if diversity is more common, then more nationalities will be put in advertising and maybe disabled people may be put in as well.


6 different perspectives youtube video: What the video is trying to say is that the person taking the photo can influence your thoughts. So next time we look at a photo we will look at it differently because know we know that what's in front of the camera isn't as important as what is behind the camera.

Abercrombie and Fitch Case Study

This photo is a mid shot, uses a soft colour palette and has a vertical composition. The model is a young caucasian male that is half naked showing off his v-line,minimal body hair and his muscles, pecs and abs. He has been edited to look more muscular. There isn't a lot of text in the image and the text uses a serif font. This shows what an "ideal" american is. To have the ideal body, you have to be quite muscular.
  • Mid shot
  • Serif Font
  • Vertical composition
  • His body has been edited (muscles etc.)
  • There is not a lot of text and the layout is quite clean
  • half naked
  • Minimal body hair
  • emphasises the v-line
  • Young and attractive
  • Soft colour palette
  • Caucasian male

Male representation

  • rise of the male glamour model
  • objectification
  • construction of ideal male body
  • focus on abs,pecs & crotch

The male gaze is the way in which the visual arts and literature depict the world and women from a masculine point of view, presenting women as objects of male pleasure. The phrase male gaze was coined by feminist film critic Laura Mulvey in 1975.

The Female Gaze is a Gaze trope about the way a work is presented as from a female perspective or reflects female attitudes, either because of the creator's gender or because it is deliberately aimed at a female audience.

Adrian's Rep Test: The carl's jr ad got a D and that was not surprising because she is reduced to a stereotype and she is sexualised etc.

Sell & Spin (History of advertising)

History of advertising Notes

  • tapping into desire+creating need
  • getting out a message+shifting a product
  • Using images+words
  • creates illusion that is directed at you, the individual viewer
  • ads are everywhere—>can you escape them? (you see about 3,000 ads everyday [old figure])
  • $450 billion spent annually (old figure)
  • Coca cola’s ad spending has led to global brand recognition
  • Leo Burnett created personalities as products e.g. Tony the Tiger—> Frosties (connection with audience)
  • Too much advertising is not always good
  • Last time, most people were illiterate so that affected advertising
  • When the merchant class "explodes" more advertising is needed
  • Iconography-icon
  • The printing press was the first major source of advertising
  • The printing press machine was a big milestone in advertising for mass communication/media

Rosser Reeves

  • Simplistic repetition boasts=The hard sell=repetition
  • irritate your way into people's consiousness
  • unique selling proposition (USP)=reason why
  • highlighting how product was different from others on market
  • Repetition of the USP->association

Bill Bernbach

  • more sophisticated audience=more sophisticated advertising
  • Recognises audience has a brain
  • blending creativity+art with marketing+commerce
  • bubble wall between viewers of ad+product advertised

Female representation in Ads

  • constructs a stereotype "idea" in female beauty
  • Impacts self esteem-eating disorders and violence against women
  • This ideal is unattainable
  • girls+women identify with images+learn what it is to be a girl/women within a given society
  • The message to women is very negative->you are not good enough
  • Creates "norms"
  • Men encouraged to view women as objects/dehumanisation

Case studies:

  • Marlboro’s sales increased 3000% (communicating in a way that says it’s the best etc without you noticing)


  • Branding-what a product represents (lifestyle, personality, identity, values, qualities, look)
  • media saturation-when we are bombarded with adverts... 3,000 a day according to the documentary and that was 20 years ago!
  • Objectification-The seeing and/or treating a person, usually a women, as an object. In the representation of women, this is often sexual objectification.
  • Gender roles-for women roles are often limited to housewife or sex object. For men, roles are often represented as the breadwinner and being served by women
  • Dismemberment-Cropping or fragmentation of the female body in media images which encourages objectification. Often this is the legs or parts of the torso. This also dehumanises women.
  • metrosexual-a neologism (a made up word) to represent a changing economic trend in male shopping and representation dating form the 80s./a man who is attracted to women sexually, but who is also interested in fashion and his appearance.
  • Spornosexual-A neologism(a made up word with sport+porn+metreolsexual) "The spornosexual is a more extreme breed of man than his metro forebear. He is just as plucked, tanned and moisturised, but leaner, buffer, more jacked and obsessed not just with "looking good" in the abstract, but with the actual physical proportions of his frame: the striation of his abs, the vascularity of his biceps, the definition of his calves."
  • Lumbersexual-A lumbersexual or urban lumberjack is a man who has adopted style traits typical of a traditional lumberjack, namely a beard, plaid shirt, and scruffy hair, substituting otherwise clean-cut and fashionable style choices.

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