GiffGaff spanked for clumsy attempt at mum-and-dad-humping humour

Mobile network told by ad watchdog to UNSEE THIS

25 Reg comments Got Tips?

Vid GiffGaff has been admonished by the UK's advertising watchdog, after a publicity stunt backfired for being too fruity.

The mobile network posted a video on Twitter that read: "The situations in our new videos are, well, awkward." The tweet also carried the NSFW (not safe for work) hashtag.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled in favour of a complainant who griped that the content in the vid was sexually graphic and "likely to cause serious or widespread offence".

GiffGaff's ad carried text under the video that said: "Out for a run – At home with your parents you're not the boss ... Dean returns hot and sweaty from a run and gets an eye full."

A supposedly jokey warning flashed up on the ad saying "you cannot unsee this."

The ASA explained what viewers were subjected to:

The video showed the interior of a house and a man entering wearing earphones and dressed in a damp T-shirt, which he removed. He pushed open a door, revealing a couple having sex in a laundry room. The video cut back to the man's reaction, and then again to the couple, before showing the man walking away looking dazed. The video then cut to a blank screen, on which text stated "At home with your parents you're not the boss ... At GiffGaff we're all the boss". During the video panting sounds could be heard, which continued over the blank screen section.

GiffGaff's ad strategy appears to be an attempt at shocking viewers of its YouTube channel. Another cringeworthy example, which hasn't been banned, can be seen below. The main problem, in The Register's networks desk's view, has nothing to do with the sexual content. Instead, it's simply not funny.

Youtube Video

GiffGaff defended its ad by claiming that the mobile network was trying to inject some humour into the situation where grown-ups still live with their parents.

The ASA said:

Although we acknowledged GiffGaff's assertion that the ad was intended to be playful and humorous, we considered that a light-hearted tone was insufficient to mitigate the potential for offence due to the sexual nature of the content. We noted that the ad was available to view to all visitors to GiffGaff's Twitter feed, the general content of which appeared to be of a mild nature that would have general appeal to consumers, and would play whether or not they were signed in to Twitter or the site hosting the video itself.

It added: "Because the video featured strongly sexual content in an untargeted medium we concluded that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence."

GiffGaff was told that the ad must not appear again in its current form. ®

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER


Keep Reading

Poor, poor mobile networks. UK's comms watchdog plans to stop 'em selling locked-down handsets

First OTT apps nick their SMS revenue, now this...

Better late than never... Google Chrome to kill off 'tiny' number of mobile web ads that gobble battery, CPU power

Could have done with this years ago to stave off rise of advert blockers but fine, OK, whatever, now it's coming

Microsoft buys Affirmed Networks to provide cloudy services for 5G network operators

Vodafone, Orange, AT&T, and Softbank are already users, will soon have Azure option

UK smacks Huawei with banhammer: Buying firm's 5G gear illegal from year's end, mobile networks ordered to rip out all next-gen kit by 2027

Country to be hit with £2bn cost, massive tech delay after firm 'materially compromised' by latest US sanctions

Google emits Network Intelligence Center to help untangle misconfigured cloud networks

Connectivity tests check config but do *not* actually test connectivity

Readers of a certain age will remember GPRS: Old insecure tech from turn of millennium still haunts 5G networks

Positive Technologies analysts less than positive about GTP

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan

‘Clean Network’ initiative bans use of Chinese clouds, names Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent as compromised

Not going Huawei just yet: UK ministers reportedly rethinking pledge to kick Chinese firm out of telco networks by 2023

Updated Reality intrudes into politics and tech once again

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020