Wednesday, October 19, 2005

DU - The Blog That Gets Results!

Soon after 7/7, the budget airline Ryanair ran an advert that the Brit Advertising Standards Authority reviewed as a possible breach of their Standards. I wrote them praising the ad, they sniffily replied that they only accepted complaints, not praise. But then they folded. Victory!

The Ryanair ad:

...showed Winston Churchill making his famous V for Victory sign along with a speech bubble saying: "We shall fly them to the beaches, we shall fly them to the hills, we shall fly them to London!"

Readers complained that it was offensive and distressing because it sought to use the London terrorist attacks for commercial gain. Some felt it was an offensive parody of Churchill's speech and was disrespectful to Second World War victims.

I wrote the ASA that, on the contrary, the ad was entirely consistent with Churchill and Blair's injunctions to Londoners carry on "business as usual" in the face of attacks by fascist nutters. The ASA replied:

The ASA does not record comments in support of an advertising campaign...does not base their decision on the number of people that complain (but) ...will be looking at whether the advertisement has caused widespread offense.

Hmm, a tad confused there. Still, they got the message:

The ASA ruled that the advert did not cause serious or widespread offense because it focused on the "stoical response that followed the attacks".

"The use of Winston Churchill's speech and image were in context with the message and theme of the advertisement and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offense."

After conquering the mighty ASA, getting Saddam Hussein topped should be a piece of cake.