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ISPCC - I Can't wait until I grow up - (2011)

The ISPCC have found a young boy worthy of some sort of commercial-acting Oscar. He delivers the message while being punched to the ground by his father. "But beating children is illegal in Ireland", you might say, and you're right. But the problem is, family rights (as a unit) outweigh children's rights (as individuals), and young children in the care of abusive parents can't wait for this to change. Young boys like this one can not seek social work or child protection support without parental consent. You can change this before he grows up.

Update 25. September 2011 - ASAI Ban ISPCC's 'I Can't Wait Until I Grow Up' because the abuser is a man

Advertised brand: ISPCC
Advert title: I Can’t Wait

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Dublin, Ireland
Agency website: Ogilvy.ie
Creative Director: Colin Nimick
Art Director: Des Kavanagh
Copywriter: Laurence O’Byrne
Agency Producer: Derek Doyle
Director: Richie Smyth
Producer: Michael Duffy, Glen Collins
Production Company: Blinder

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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AnonymousCoward's picture

Amazing performance, he makes my heart ache.

Neo's picture

Jesus that kid almost made me weep. What a performance!

Dabitch's picture

"Almost"? Damn, you're a hardass.

AnonymousCoward's picture

The decision of the Advetrising Standards Authority for Ireland upheld the complaint about this fundrasising campaign video, see below for text of the decision. perhaps this video should be removed from your website.

CC: 20/09/2011 CASE REPORT Batch No: 203
Case Ref.: 16247
Product: Non-Commercial (Fundraising)
Advertiser: Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Medium: Internet
Advertisement: The advertisement depicted acts of abuse including physical abuse on a child,
perpetrated by a male figure, in the home. While the abuser is seen striking, shaking
and throwing the child to the ground, he (the child) quotes from a manifesto of
children’s rights as follows:
“I can’t wait til I grow up,
and have the right to be happy,
to be kept safe,
to be kept warm,
to feel loved,
to be listened to,
to be heard,
to never ever ever cower or tremble or shake,
Or have my innocence punched or kicked or screamed away,
I’ll fight for the rights of children like me, who don’t have a childhood.
I can’t wait until I grow up.”
The announcer then stated “Join the fight for children’s rights.”
Complaint: Complainants objected to the advertisement on the basis that it was unbalanced in its
treatment of the subject of abuse in the home. The advertisement only depicted a male
as being the aggressor and the complainants considered this to be unbalanced.
Some complainants also objected to the level of violence acted out on the child in the
The advertisers set out that they were an advocacy service for children in Ireland and
that they provide a range of independent and unique services that they considered to be
preventative and empowering in nature.
They said that in 2010 Childline received over 800,000 calls and answered over
500,000 of these. Children contacted them for many reasons and 13% of calls
received in 2010 were in relation to child abuse and welfare. Where children disclose
to Childline that they are at risk of or have in fact been abused and have given
identifying information, their case would be referred to the HSE or the Garda
The ISPCC also operates Childfocus, Teenfocus and Leanbh. Childfocus and
Teenfocus work with children in the home or other secure settings and Leanbh works
with children that are homeless and begging on the streets of Dublin. All these
services adhere to Children’s First Guidelines and practice mandatory reporting.
They said that the campaign “I can’t wait to grow up” was based around a manifesto
of children’s rights. The manifesto was written from a child’s perspective and the
2 Case Ref.: 16247
purpose of the advertisement was to raise awareness of the very tough and sensitive
issue of child abuse in Ireland.
In relation to the issues raised by the complainants, they said that the video made no
reference to fathers or male partners, and they did not consider the advertisement
discriminated against any person or persons.
They confirmed that the child depicted in the video was not harmed in the making of
the advertisement and his guardian was present during the video shoot.
The Secretariat asked the advertisers to detail in relation to the calls received by
Childline what percentage of the calls were from children of a similar age to the child
in the advertisement and of those children calling what percentage were abused by
While the advertisers provided further information regarding the Childline service and
a profile breakdown of phone and online statistics from 2010, they were unable to
provide the information required as this was not collected by them.
The Secretariat checked independently and found that comprehensive independent
statistics were not available for the type of child abuse illustrated.
Code Sections: 1.6(c) The Code is applied in accordance with the following criteria: Compliance
with the Code is assessed in the light of a marketing communication's probable effect
when taken as a whole and in context. Particular attention is paid to: • the
characteristics of the likely audience, • the media by means of which the marketing
communication is communicated, • the location and context of the marketing
communication, • the nature of the advertised product and the nature, content and form
of any associated material made available or action recommended to consumers.
2.16 Marketing communications should respect the dignity of all persons and should
avoid causing offence on grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual
orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the traveller community.
2.17 Marketing communications should respect the principle of the equality of men
and women. They should avoid sex stereotyping and any exploitation or demeaning of
men and women. Where appropriate, marketing communications should use generic
terms that include both the masculine and feminine gender; for example, the term
'business executive' covers both men and women.
2.24 A marketing communication should not mislead, or be likely to mislead, by
inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.
Conclusion: Complaints Upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the
advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the sensitive and confidential nature of
recording individual information from callers to the Childline service.
They accepted that the level of violence portrayed while disturbing was realistic and
3 Case Ref.: 16247
that the primary message being conveyed in the advertising was the existence of this
abuse. They also acknowledged the range of services provided by ISPCC.
They noted that an earlier campaign for the Christmas appeal had also used a male
figure and considered in the absence of reliable statistics, the portrayal of only male
characters as the abusers was in breach of the provisions of the Code. The Committee
upheld the complaints on the basis that without supporting evidence, the advertisement
contravened Sections 2.16 and 2.17 of the Code.
The advertisement must not appear in its current format again.

Dabitch's picture

"perhaps this video should be removed from your website." Certainly not. Unlike totalitarian regimes we do not airbrush or censor the past, as that would defeat the point of curating a historical archive of commercials spanning well over 50 years, including the banned, censored and withdrawn ones. What a dumb thing to suggest.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Perhaps you should consult with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland in order to establish your legal position would be, bearing in mind the reasons for their decision.

Dabitch's picture

I know exactly what my legal position is, and you do not. This is an archive, not a paid for media which is what the ASA asks the ISPCC to not do again. Thanks for the unsolicited advice. An article regarding this ASA decision is coming soon, as it was made following the code of gender equality which in itself is interesting (and we usually report bans under "banned ads" anyway - note that's where all the perviously banned ads have been kept these past 15 years.)