Banned TV Commercials from the UK
As promised at one of our TV Advertising seminars, we’ve found the link to the TOP 10 most controversial UK TV Adverts YouTube video. We’re not sure why banned TV Adverts so compelling to watch – perhaps its our way of looking at mistakes creative agencies can make. Or perhaps its the creative industries brazen audacity?
Why do Television Adverts get banned?
Its often a surprise to us when a TV Commercial gets banned after it’s been transmitted. In the UK, all TV Commercials have to be approved by an organisation called Clearcast. To some Creative TV Agencies, this can be a problem – especially if you want to make outrageous claims that simply don’t stand up (are their clients really number 1?). Luckily, at Concept TV, we have put Clearcast approval at the heart of our creative workflow – so we’ve currently never had a TV Commercial outright rejected – and we’ve especially never had one pulled from broadcast by the ASA.
TV Commercials have to follow the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising – administered by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority). This is similar to all other forms of advertising which have to follow the CAP Advertising Codes. In the unlikely event that a TV Commercial is approved and then banned, it will most likely be because a member or members of the public have taken offence to the nature of the content, as opposed to a company not being able to deliver on a specific claim.
5 major reasons that TV Commercials are banned after being broadcast:
- Violence – The visual content is violent and shown before the 9:00pm watershed. People worry that children may be watching and that it will adversely affect their character.
- Sex – The visual content or underlying theme is seen as being too sexy for a pre-watershed showing. Again, people tend to feel that TV Adverts featuring too much ‘sex-appeal’ will corrupt our society.
- Scaremongering – Its unusual for a TV Commercial to be approved by Clearcast if it obviously contains an element of scaremongering. As seen in the top 10 banned tv commercials video above, environmental warnings often make the statement that the world is heading for apocalypse if we keep burning super-mega-watts of electricity on that little red light on the TV…! Needless to say, you can’t threaten people with detrimental consequences if they do not buy into your proposition!
- Making claims that aren’t true – Again, it’s unusual for a TV Commercial to be approved by Clearcast if the advertiser can’t back up their claims. For instance, you can’t offer a watch for £5 if you don’t have any, or maybe only a couple in stock, when the ones really made available are £100. At Concept TV Advertising, we work hard to make sure that advertisers can make the claims they need by looking at ways to ensure that all claims can be substantiated. We’ll also advise on alternative claims that are broadcast compliant but also say what the advertiser wants to say.
- Generally offensive – The KFC TV Advert clearly shows people speaking with their mouth full, which worried the public that children would copy those actions. At Concept TV, we also less fondly remember a TV Advert from the 90’s (we think..) when children sat at a table, banged their knife and fork and demanded “Feed me, Feed me NOW! Yes, McCains Oven Chips certainly pushed decent society to the edge with that one – even though we don’t think it was actually ever banned! Not all public complaints are upheld by the ASA – if they were, we wouldn’t have any TV Advertising, the industry would go bankrupt and there would be no Saturday night TV anymore (stop cheering!). This point has been banned for scaremongering.
How can you avoid having your TV Commercial from being banned from broadcast?
Simple. Engage Concept TV to handle script development, or at least get us to mediate with Clearcast on your behalf. When it comes to creating a compelling TV Commercial, we know what we’re doing. After all, we were one of the first TV Agencies to get a Mould Spray TV Commercial approved in the UK in recent times. We go the extra mile to make your claims compliant. Being more than just a bunch of creatives with wild ideas, we make sure that your TV Commercial has broadcast approval at script level – before we even pick up the camera.
We’ve hear of lots of cases where want-to-be TV Advertisers have paid for expensive and impressive TV Commercials that have never seen the light of day – simply because their content was not suitable for broadcast. We regularly put in the time to refine the communication and develop complex, detailed substantiation that takes even the toughest of our advertisers claims to the screen.
Want to know more about how TV Advertising works, what we can do for you, or perhaps you want us to take a look at your case? Call us now on 0203 002 92 42 – email firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit www.ConceptStudios.co.uk