There are three ways to get your ad banned. Have sex, religion or suicide in your ad. If you managed all three, you'll be insta-banned. These are the funniest or craziest banned ads reported here in the past ten years. As you might expect, this list is NSFW if nudity is NS where you work.
First out (above) are Sofa King who managed with the feat of getting their slogan banned. What's wrong with an endline that fulfills the client critera of having the brand name in it, and touting their low prices? Nothing, except, their brand name is Sofa King. Our prices are Sofa King low read the ad, and all the noo yawakas thought it was Sofa King funny. The ASA didn't laugh.
#2 "Spank" fashion ads withdrawn, WE Sweden decided to pull their ads and underwear packaging as soon as they realized that nobody was buying their "we're a skater brand, the idea was that the girl might have fallen off a skateboard." defense for this image. Sure, sure - she fell off a skateboard, onto a mans hand, while pant-less....
Christina Aguilera's naughty nurse ad canned
- Center For Nursing Advocacy said: "This ad simultaneously exploits the 'naughty nurse' and the battleaxe/Nurse Ratched stereotypes, setting the nurse up both as an available sex object and a mock-malevolent authority figure, rather than a competent professional."
, and presto, the ad was withdrawn. The incompetent professional photoshop hacker who pasted together the two Xtina's could have gotten it banned on the skintone alone, in my humble opinion. The full campaign can be seen here
I'm still not sure what is going on in this Patric Cox ad where two men in jockstraps wrestle in the background
but it was banned right fast after a reader complained it appeared to depict an "act of buggery". There are shoes in the foreground by the way. They're what's being sold.
Suicides will get you banned. First Honda withdrew their "suicide car advert"
down in Australia. In the ad a man on a rooftop carpark admires the new Honda so much that his own car commits caricide by driving itself off the roof. The people of Honda received calls from "People ringing in with heart-wrenching stories of their own personal experience with suicide" and decided to pull the ad then and there. Four years later, VW pulled the "jumper" ad they aired during the superbowl 2007
created by CP+B Miami after receiving similar complaints - even though in this ad, the car is a hero as it convinces the man not to jump
. In a similar move, General Motors decided to edit the Robot Superbowl spot where a depressed assembly robot dreams that he jumps off a bridge.
jumperVW pulls "jumper" ad
It's not just airbrushed nudity that gets banned, Dove's pro-age campaign for real beauty, showing nude non-airbrushed mature ladies, was banned ......wait for it ....... because of nudity
. Way to miss the point, people.
Cult Shaker, did their best to try and shake up Denmark
, but it wasn't until they doubled the amount of nude girls in the ads
that they received enough complaints to be ordered to take the posters down. They continued advertising, now with more 'subtle' closeup portraits of partial female face and red lips receiving the foamy white spray from overflowing shaken bottles instead. Bukakka-producers took notes of their style.
#8 N-Gage ads deemed "offensive" and "distressing"
british watchdog banned these because they "could be seen to encourage sexual violence towards women.
Speaking of violence toward women, the captivity 'abduction, torture and death' posters
that caused such outrage when they mistakenly went up is another example of violence toward women, but that is what the whole movie was about.
#9 Nude Sophie Dahl for Opium. This ad has a special place in Adland's heart, not only was it the most complained about advert in ASA's history back in 2000 - four years later the curse of Sophie's nipple caused Paypal to shut down our account (where adgrunts upgraded to watch films, which allowed us to afford to show said films), right before the superbowl, which is our biggest crush of the year. The image of Sophie's pale white nipple you can so easily find being sold on Ebay (via paypal, ahem - consistency anyone?) sure has the power to upset some folk. Tom Ford, fashion creative director enfant terrible began the naughties on a naughty note and we wouldn't expect anything less from him. (fun trivia: Ex paypal employees started youtube only a year after the Paypal/Adland mishap. Coincidink? Probably, but a funny one.)
#10 Gucci's Hairy Ad, you can thank Tom Ford again, for the kerfluffle caused by him branding a models pubic hair. 272653 views later, the ad has gone down in history - it narrowly avoided the ASA banhammer, since it only got 17 complaints in the end. Unlike Sophie above, the image of Louise's shaven cootchie only appeared within the confines of fashion magazines, where the readers did understand it as it was intended: "to be the ultimate ironic pun for a sexy brand in a logo-led age"
It was never banned, but to balance out the nudity with some more violence that Red Cross Youth (RKUF) campaign designed to start a debate about human rights in conjunction with the Chinese Olympics was pulled after Red Cross Geneva received complaints from Chinese people worldwide. It gets an honorable mention as it was the campaign that I received death threats for posting (and keeping) [#1], [#2], [#3], [#4],[#5] , while the site was under massive DDOS-attacks from various scriptkiddies hoping that they could force me to remove it. Events like that makes hosting this site rather interesting shall we say.
Adland's 10 by 10 - Top ten Viral ad campaigns in the past ten years.
Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten Marketing Mishaps in the past ten years.
Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten Banned ads in the past ten years. (NSFW)
Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten Freakiest Ads of The 00's
Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten new ad space ideas in the past ten years.
Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten Escalator ads in the past ten years.
Adland's 10 by 10 - Top Ten Spec ads that went viral in the past ten years.
Adland's 10 by 10 - top ten celebrity ads/campaigns in the past ten years.