Best Rejected Advertising revisited
Bestrejectedadvertising.com is full of new content and it seems the world is still full of taboos.
Sex is still a no-go in many countries of the world. This 2001 advert for the underwear label Agent Provocateur, which features the singer Kylie Minogue, was deemed by regulators to be too explicit to be shown on British television and was approved only for cinemas. This more recent advert for the fast food chain Carl’s Jr., featuring Paris Hilton, was the subject of complaints following its airing on US television in May 2005. This advert for Airborne cold remedies, featuring the actor Mickey Rooney, was rejected by the Fox televison network as unsuitable to be shown during the 2005 Super Bowl, due to its use of nudity.
People still can't take stereotypes well. An ad, in the Financial Times, for the American Jewish Committee stated "Can anyone within range of Iran's missiles feel safe?" In another tv commercial The Advertising Standards Committee of South Africa considered complaints in regard to television advertisements placed by the Amy Biehl Foundation. On 24 June 2003, the Advertising Standards Committee ("the Committee") considered a complaint by Ken Boffard and others in regard to a Dulux Print Advertisement featuring the now well-known picture of Happy Sindane.
Bad language and anti social behavior doesn't hold up it seems. The billboard advertisement, displaying the website address www.AUTOTRADER.co.nz, showed two dogs peering from a muddy vehicle. A large caption read: WE'VE GOT RIDES FOR DIRTY BITCHES. A commercial for Fanta Z opened with a young couple enjoying a picnic on a beach. They drank from their cans of Fanta Light, but then calmly spat the drink out. Others were also shown spitting the drink out in similar ways. This 2004 spot was created by Ogilvy and Mather as part of their campaign for the Ford SportKa. Although it failed to win approval from Ford, the ad appeared on the internet as a viral.
People can't face reality and prefer to see a rosy picture. One advertisement in the UK showed a photograph of a new-born baby who had a cockroach crawling out of his mouth. This advert by Be A Witness, a campaign engineered by the American Progress Action Fund and the Genocide Intervention Fund, was rejected by the three major US TV networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) in 2005 because it was telling the truth.
Religion is another touchy subject for many. There was an objection to a national press advertisement, in the Metro and the Guardian, for the Erotica 2001 show at Olympia. The advertisement showed a man lying on a bed with his arms outstretched and his legs crossed at the ankle. The claim "lead me into temptation" appeared across the man's groin area, which was covered with a sheet.
Apparently, the world is still full of people lacking a sense of humor. This advert was pulled shortly before its scheduled launch following public complaints over its use of an image from the July 7 terrorist attacks on London. In another case there were objections to a poster for Durex performa condoms. The advertisement featured inflated condoms arranged to form the words "roger more". EasyJet suffered complainants objected that the advertisement was offensive because it trivialised the recent war in Iraq.
And, finally of course, freedom of speech is now history. In 2004 two posters featuring the hooded Abu Ghraib detainee familiar from photos of torture at the Iraqi prison appeared in New York and San Francisco. These commercials from MoveOn were part of a $1.3 million campaign by the liberal activist group to expose Republican links with big business in the run-up to the November 2006 elections.
Thankfully we have the internet, where morals are relative, taboos are forgotten and freedom of speech got a whole new meaning.