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Complaints suggesting Westpac ad promotes 'illegal' gay marriage and ANZ ad portrays a single woman as wanting more sex thrown out
Complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) claiming a Westpac TV advertisement promotes gay marriage and another claiming an ANZ advert suggests a woman is promiscuous, have been thrown out.
The first complaint, T. Wallbank, says he's offended by the Westpac "Start Asking" ad because gay marriage is illegal in New Zealand. The ad shows two men exchanging rings with the questions "will you?" and "do you?" appearing on the screen.
However, ASA chairman John McClintock points out that although gay marriage hasn't been legalised in New Zealand, civil unions have, and the two men are obviously exchanging rings in this context.
"As such, the Chairman ruled there was nothing in the advertisement which, in light of generally prevailing community standards was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and as such, was prepared with the due sense of responsibility. Therefore, the Chairman ruled there was no apparent breach of the Code of Ethics," the ASA says.
Consequently McClintock ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
The second complaint, from a P. Victor, was over ANZ's "More" ad featuring actor Simon Baker in character as Patrick Jane from TV show The Mentalist. This ad shows Baker sitting on a bench making observations about the people around him. After saying what two men want, he turns and sees a woman walking down the beach, looking out to sea.
He then says: “And she? Well, she just wants more”.
Victor suggests this is an innuendo about more sex.
"In a country where we have so much violence against women it is simply outrages (sic) to portray a single women as just wanting more sex. And to think that a big organisation like the bank seems to think it is okay!!" Victor complains.
However, McClintock suggests the reference to the woman in the advertisement wanting “more” is actually not that she wants more sex, rather that she wants more from life in general.
"The Chairman considered the Complainant to have taken an extreme interpretation of the advertisement, and it was unlikely that the consumer takeout would be that the woman wanted more from her intimate relationships, and that in turn, promoted violence against women or turned women into sexual objects," the AFA says.
"The Chairman was of the view that the advertisement did not reach the threshold of what was likely to cause serious or widespread offence ... Accordingly, the Chairman ruled that there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed."