The Advertising Standards Board has dismissed complaints that SBS’s #FU2 Racism ad campaign earlier this year contained offensive language.

The campaign was promoting the broadcaster’s Face Up to Racism week of programming around race and prejudice in Australia. There were posters in bus shelters, train stations, shopping centres and large format billboards in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

One complainant said the wording was offensive and blatantly rude: “Come on — let’s have some standards for our kids. What’s next, the ‘C’ bomb to get our attention?” the complaint read.

Another said, “If it is acceptable to say F U to racism, then why not to anything or anyone else that we don’t agree with?”

The board found that the wording on the poster (“#FU2 Racism — Face Up to Racism”) was clearly not an obscenity, given the proximity of a written explanation of what the ‘F’ stood for. The decision comes after another where complaints were made about advertisements for F*ck that’s delicious, a show on SBS Viceland.


Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey