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Ken Magill

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Stupid Bureaucrat Watch: ASA Saves UK from Auto Armageddon


By Ken Magill

Phew! That was close. But thank goodness for the bureauweenies at the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA just saved a bunch of people from driving 120 miles per hour—or 193.12128 kilometers per hour, as the case may be—up steep, winding mountain roads and killing themselves and possibly others.

How’d they do it? Why, by stomping on the heads of the evil marketing minds at Yahoo!, that’s how.

The ASA last week banned from being displayed in the UK an ad for Yahoo! Mail Beta that showed two women driving at an apparently high rate of speed with the tagline “Faster is Funner.”

After two oversensitive nanny wannabes complained about the ad, the ASA sprang into action.

The ruling:

“We considered that because the ad showed the car against a blurred background and was headlined "Faster is funner", speed was the key message of the ad.

“We concluded that the combination of the headline and the image, portrayed speed in a way that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly and could therefore be seen to condone anti-social behaviour and irresponsible driving.”

Anti-social behavior? It’s organizations like the ASA that make me want to engage in seriously anti-social behavior.

Yahoo!’s current promotion—in the U.S. anyway—for Yahoo! Mail Beta shows a paper airplane shaped like a shuttle blasting off into space.

Too bad there isn’t an American counterpart to the ASA. They could save me from strapping a bunch of bottle rockets to my ass and trying to blast into space in the paper shuttle I have built in my back yard.

Oh, and boy do I wish there was an ASA-type organization overseeing cartoons when I was a kid.

They could have saved me from the time one of my siblings blasted me in the face with a shotgun 17 times after viewing a Bugs Bunny cartoon co-starring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd.

And don’t get me started on Road Runner. What I wouldn’t have done to be saved from that time I pulled the pin on a grenade, threw the pin and kept the grenade in my mouth.

Think of all the boulders I could have avoided falling on my head. And how many rockets did I strap myself to only to blow up immediately?

Let me tell you, my mother really would have appreciated not having to search for me in the local ravine every Saturday afternoon.

Where were you when I needed you, ASA?

And curse you, ACME.


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