What do you think people are most likely to make complaints about?
Make a list of the top three things that, in your opinion, make people complain.
The most complained-about advert is the KFC Zinger advert. [1500 complaints]
ASA – Advertising Standards Authority
- All ads should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.
- Without good reason advertisers should not play on fear or incite distress.
- Advertisers should not condone nor incite violence or antisocial behaviour; they should not offend.
- There are specific rules concerning health claims with regards to such things as tobacco and alcohol.
- Children are also carefully considered – ‘advertisements should not contain anything which is likely to exploit their credulity, lack of experience or sense of loyalty’.
[ASA cannot censor adverts, it can respond to complaints and make advertisers aware of public concern. It can put pressure on advertisers to pull adverts.]
The Marmite spoof documentary TV ad
Read the information in the downloadable sheet about the Marmite spoof documentary advert.
Role play a debate about the advert.Roles:
- Animal rights campaigner
- Advert creator
- RSPCA representative
- Spokesperson from Unilever
- Fans of the Marmite brand
- ASA adjudicator
What is your viewpoint? Is the advert offensive and irresponsible? Or is it obviously light-hearted?
Write your own personal response.
Issues and debates: advertising and unhealthy foods.
Discuss the following:
Celebrities are important role models for young people. When a sportsperson like David Beckham, Wayne Rooney or Gareth Bale advertises a sugary drink, it sends out the wrong message.
Fast food companies often pay sports stars and celebrities to appear in ads because they are popular with children. This encourages young people to eat unhealthily.
Advertisers only care about profits. Celebrities appearing in adverts boost sales. Sales of Walkers’ crisps increased after Gary Lineker started appearing in the adverts.
When sporting events are sponsored by fast food and soft drinks companies it encourages young people to get involved in sport; this is a good thing.
Celebrities should teach young people to eat more healthily.
Children need to be protected from adverts.
Young children are capable of making their own decisions about what to eat. They are not persuaded by adverts.
Fast food and sugary drinks are responsible for the rise in unhealthy eating habits.
Advertising of sugary soft drinks and unhealthy food should be banned.
Advertisers of unhealthy foods should not be allowed to place ads on TV when children might be watching.
It’s the responsibility of a parent to teach their child to eat healthily.
Fast food is not harmful in moderation.