Magazine article Marketing

Squeamish Press Should Not Block Hard-Hitting Ads

Magazine article Marketing

Squeamish Press Should Not Block Hard-Hitting Ads

Article excerpt

This week another campaign was added to the list of 'shock ads' banned by media owners. The unlikely subject of this ban was Help the Aged.

The charity's shocking crime? Using a stark image to convey the fact that thousands of elderly people in the UK die every year because of the cold. You will not see the ad in either The Daily Telegraph or The Times, because last week both titles took the decision not to run it in their pages. The newspapers said that the image could upset some readers.

A spokeswoman for News International said that the decision was an editorial one and had been taken by a senior executive of the company who feared the ad could upset anyone who had recently suffered a bereavement.

A spokeswoman for The Telegraph told Marketing: "Ultimately the decision was taken by the editor Charles Moore. His view, shared by other senior executives, was that the ad was distasteful and used unnecessary shock tactics. We did not want to expose our readers to it." The press and poster campaign is pictured on page seven of this week's Marketing so you can judge for yourself if the two newspapers were right in their actions. It is true that everyone is tired of so-called 'shock advertising', usually carried out by brands and agencies with no budgets, few ideas, and the desperate desire to be banned so that they can generate some free publicity. …

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