The Advertising Standards Bureau has ruled that a billboard reading “F*ck, that’s delicious” breached advertising standards, despite SBS’ protestations. SBS has put up billboards advertising Viceland, its new TV channel, including the show F*ck, that’s delicious, which according to SBS’ response, “follows rapper and bon vivant, Action Bronson as he travels the world meeting like-minded pleasure-seekers and eating his fair share of food”.

SBS defended the use of the asterisk and the word itself by claiming that it was used colloquially:

“The poster does not contain strong or obscene language. SBS understands that the word ‘fuck’ is considered to be strong and offensive to some people. However, while the word used in the poster alludes to the swear word, it does not refer to it in full. The impact of the word is lessened by the use of the asterisk in place of the ‘u’, and the context of the poster. The word is used in its colloquial sense, as an exclamation of pleasure. This is in keeping with the character of the program and the presenter. The phrase is not presented in an aggressive or sexual manner.”

The Ad Standards Board didn’t buy it, and said the poster breached standards, but as the campaign has already finished, the ruling won’t result in posters being taken down.

Peter Fray

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