Banned: 7 of the Most Controversial TV Ads

Advertisers often try to push the boundaries of acceptable advertising on our television screens. The ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) regulates what types of adverts can or cannot be shown, and also the times of when an advert can be shown (as some adverts may not be suitable for viewing before 9pm for example, in case children are watching them).

In this blog post you can check out 7 of the most controversial TV adverts that have been banned by the ASA – take a look below!

7. Volkswagen Group – advert for the Volkswagen Golf (2008)

This advert was for the new Volkswagen Golf car back in 2008, and featured a design engineer fighting multiple versions of himself. The ASA had partially upheld the complaints made, ruling that because of the level of violence in it, it was banned from being shown on television before 9pm. The ASA received over 1,070 complaints for this advert.

6. Microsoft – advert for the Xbox (2002)

A rather controversial advert for Microsoft’s Xbox shows a baby popping out of his mother like a champagne cork whilst she was giving birth to him, the baby is then hurled through the hospital window and rapidly grows older through life before being unceremoniously dumped in a grave at a cemetery. The Independent Television Commission had said that it was offensive and distasteful to recently bereaved viewers.

5. Tango – advert for Orange Tango (2004)

The 30-second Orange Tango advert shows a young man wrapped in a blue carpet filled with oranges, balanced on top of five large concrete pipes. The carpet and pipes were attached to a string, the other end of which was attached to a sheet of grass.

The advert then shows the goat eating the grass, to the point where the grass sheet moves, the string is then broken and the carpet and pipes roll down a hill, until they hit a tree (with the young man still inside). The concrete pipes quickly follow him and roll onto the carpet (with him still inside).

It was banned by the ASA for fear of copycat behaviour.

4. IKEA – advert for tidying up (2007)

This advert was banned because of the child playing with the vibrator, which sounds very wrong but was innocently motivated, as the self-assembly furniture giant was focusing on illustrating the negative and embarrassing consequences of not maintaining a tidy home.

3. Panasonic – advert for the Panasonic Viera plasma television (2006)

The 2006 Panasonic Viera advert was banned from UK television screens because of its obviously male intended audience, and the fact that there was an explosion of sperm from the plasma television on to one of the actor’s faces!

2. John Smith – advert for John Smith beer (2005)

In this advert for John Smith’s beer, Peter Kay has a no-nonsense approach to explaining sex which mirrors John Smith’s no-nonsense approach to beer, but perhaps the onion bhajis and the pint of beer which closely resembled a phallic image caused some offence for the advert to be banned.

1. Volkswagen – advert for diesel cars (2003)

Another controversial (yet highly viral advert at the time) is the Volkswagen advert for telling people not to put petrol in their diesel cars. It was banned because of the obviously repetitive “bollocks” statement from the little girl when she accidentally missed, dropped or spilt things, and from her father at the filling station forecourt when he just put petrol into his diesel Passat.

With thanks toAqua Blue Design a Vinyl Banner supplier for this great post on the worlds best banned TV Commercials.

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