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Ken Magill

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ASA Saves UK From Itself ... Again

By Ken Magill
Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority once again has shown how indispensable it is in protecting people’s safety.
The ASA recently banned a BMW ad because it mixed footage of a driver on public roads with a driver on a race track going really fast.
Now that the ad has been banned, the British public can breathe a sigh of relief knowing BMW drivers won’t behave like they’re competing in the Daytona 500 because a commercial indicated to them it’s okay.
In its ruling the ASA stated: “[W]e considered that the editing of the ad blurred the distinction between track and road. We also considered that the intercutting of the footage drew clear links between the road and racing use of the car, and therefore condoned the use of the car in the manner shown by both drivers. The ad featured the car cutting corners, skidding, and driving fast, and the sound of the vehicle accelerating was also audible. We therefore considered that the majority of the ad focused on the way the car was being driven and its performance and speed. Because we considered that the ad encouraged unsafe and irresponsible driving we concluded that it breached the Code.
“The ad must not appear again in its current form.”
The ruling was made based on one complaint.
Hello. ASA? I would like to complain about some ads:
You should ban ads that might make people think bears wipe there asses with Charmin.
Oh and speaking of bears, one Christmas you could have saved me from getting my head lopped off after Coca-Cola had me convinced polar bears make excellent ice-skating partners. Did you know polar bears are the one species besides humans that kill just for the hell of it? Boy, did I find that out the hard way.
You could have also saved me from getting my ass beaten and robbed in Chinatown by banning a Heineken ad that convinced me to scour nightspots looking for a woman whose business card I found in the back of a cab.
You could have also prevented me from growing my hair long, neglecting to wash it and jumping overboard off a cruise ship by banning another Heineken ad.
And think of all the time and heartache you could have saved me from trying to get my dogs to say the word “bacon” if only you’d have banned the Beggin’ Strips ads. Who knew dogs can’t talk?
And how about those Lincoln ads where Matthew McConaughey now has me driving around rubbing my right thumb and forefinger together while making vaguely existentialist sounding but nonetheless vapid statements in my best cool voice? I would like you to ban those, too, so my friends will stop beating me up.
Once I would have written that it is incredible that ostensibly educated people draw full-time salaries assessing and banning ads on a single complaint from one oversensitive weenie with too much time on his hands.
But it’s not incredible. Its likes are all around us. In a very short period of time, we have evolved into an “if-it-offends-one-person” culture.
Whenever I see bureauweenies like those in the ASA in action—they are not confined to the UK by any stretch—I envision either or both of my grandfathers rising out of their graves to kick the shit out of me for being part of the generation that has allowed this silliness to flourish.
Civilizations that put pansies like the bureaucrats at the ASA in charge of anything deserve to die.
And when the barbarians finally crash the gates and plunge us into 1,000 years of darkness, somehow I think saying to my grandfathers: “Sorry, Pop Pop. Some of us tried. It just wasn’t enough” will appease neither of them.

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