Two ads, one featuring an erection the other showing `Fat Slags'. Which one got a rap over the knuckles?
Wednesday 27 August 1997
The Independent Television Commission ruled that an advert for Impulse body spray, which uses a clock hand rising by a minute and a feather rising on hot air above a radiator to imply that the male model in a life drawing class is getting an erection, was acceptable innuendo that did not go beyond the bounds of good taste.
The advertisement was only aired after the 9.00pm watershed but 40 viewers complained that it was indecent and in bad taste to portray an erection in an advertisement. The ITC also rejected a several complaints from viewers who believed that the film was sexist because it would encourage people to laugh at men getting erections.
In the past when men couldn't help acting on Impulse they tended to buy flowers. In this advertisement the life model can't help himself when an art student wearing Impulse walks past him.
In the same complaints review published this week the ITC accepted the large number of complaints from people offended by Lucozade's television advertisement starring the cartoon Viz characters The Fat Slags. The advertisement provoked more than 300 people to complain to the ITC about the use of the words "O mercy it's the fat slags" in an advert and the negative way overweight women were portrayed.
Sandra and Tracey, the two scantily dressed large Geordies, who in Viz eat chips while having sex in alleyways, were seen in the commercial reacting with horror when they found a bottle of low calorie Lucozade in the refrigerator.
Many of the 309 complaints said that the advertisement had caused children to start using the phrase "fat slag" as an insult.
The worry about its adoption by children and the fact that the advertisement had received the largest number of complaints so far this year meant that broadcasters had already stopped it going out before 7.30pm and the advertiser had changed "fat slags" to "Sandra and Tracey".
The ITC ruled that the word "slag" was too strong to be used, but decided that the cartoon characters were unlikely to be offensive to most people.
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