When it comes to near the knuckle marketing, Paddy Power has to be named king and of course, lesser brands are going to try and emulate their success.
However, Fruity King do so in such a way that all they manage to achieve is offence as yet another slap on the wrist from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is dished out to Fruity King via Progress Play!
Progress Play are the licence holders, Fruity King the licensee so sadly for Progress Play, it was they that received the ticking off from the ASA. Not that it will make any difference, it’s not like they are going to close the offending brand down.
On 8th September Fruity King took to Twitter, as it did previously when it caused offence by referring to Jamie Vardy as a holocaust victim [read more here].
They promoted a tweet that showed one of the Loose Women presenters in their swimwear and read ‘You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig’ and used the hashtag that was trending to celebrate the shows 18th birthday – #LooseWomen18.
This is the tweet as it was on Twitter on September 8th 2017.
We’re shocked that there was only one complaint to be honest, but that one was enough to have the ASA investigate under the CAP Code 4.1, which clearly it breached.
Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Compliance will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards.
Marketing communications may be distasteful without necessarily breaching this rule. Marketers are urged to consider public sensitivities before using potentially offensive material.
The fact that a product is offensive to some people is not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code.
The brand operator was approached by Progress Play as the license holder tried to understand the reasoning behind the tweet and the response from Fruity King was that they felt it was not derogatory towards women at all! The implication by them was that the text referred to the low quality programme and not the women in the picture that they had used.
We call BS on that response! Progress Play on the other hand accepted that there was ‘some merit to the logic and reasoning’. The ASA did not!
Whilst they were pleased with how Progress Play dealt with their brand operator, they upheld the complaint and common sense prevailed. The ad is not to appear again.
You can read the full ruling here.