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Poundland’s teabagging 'Elf on the Shelf' makes it on to the ASA’s naughty list

Poundland’s Teabagging 'Elf On The Shelf' Makes It On To The ASA’s Naughty List

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Christmas social Campaign from discount retailer Poundland, following an investigation into its x-rated send-up of the seasonal ‘Elf on a Shelf’ tradition.

The watchdog, which received more than 80 complaints about the campaign, said that the ads depicted toy figures “in a sexualised manner and appeared in an untargeted medium where they could be seen by children." It concluded that the ads were therefore irresponsible “and likely to cause serious or widespread offence.”

Poundland’s 'Elf Behaving Badly' campaign saw a Toy Elf posed in a variety of suggestive stances, referencing Christmas-themed puns or pop-culture.

These included, but were not limited to, a gif of the toy elf with a toothbrush between its legs, motioning back and forth with the caption: 'That’s one way to scratch that itch. That’s not Santa’s toothbrush it is?!', and a picture of the elf riding a Christmas bauble while nude; a nod to Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball music video.

In particular, it was Poundland's depiction of the elf doll ‘teabagging’ a female figurine which landed the brand in particularly hot water, with Twinings – which had products included in the image – publicly distancing itself from the high street store.

The ASA upbraided Poundland for the adult nature of the images, noting that despite the use of double entendre in the brand’s captions of the images, the campaign used “obvious references to sexual acts” on social channels that were not age-gated.

Additionally, the regulator criticised the brand for posting the images on the “untargeted medium” of Twitter, where children could see them, suggesting that sharing of the images by followers of the brand’s social pages meant that they reached a wide audience, including those under 16.

As a result, the ASA said the ads cannot not appear again in their current form, and the ASA, warning Poundland that its future advertising must be “presented with a sense of responsibility”.

In response to the ban, Poundland released a statement in the form of a missive from the toy elf in question, it read: “Britain’s the home of saucy postcards, Carry On films and panto, so I’m sad the ASA found my double entendres hard to swallow. At least it’s only 84 people who had a sense of humour failure compared to the tens of thousands who got the joke and liked and shared my posts online.

“I’m doing everything I can to be good so I can get out on good behaviour later this year.”

Poundland’s defence of the posts included an appendix containing comments from fans of the brand, as well as results from a Twitter poll in which 82% of a 12,000-strong sample supported the campaign.

According to the retailer’s press team: “A large number of people found the campaign to be humourous, engaging and in line with what it meant to be British.”



This post first appeared on How To Organize Small Kitchen, please read the originial post: here

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Poundland’s teabagging 'Elf on the Shelf' makes it on to the ASA’s naughty list

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