Cougar violence just won’t cut it on Australian TV. The Advertising Standards Board of Australia has banned the television commercial ad for the dating Web site Cougar Life for featuring unjustifiable violence by a woman to others.
Cougar Life ad
The ad watchdog has received complaints over the 30-second commercial, which is said to be sexually suggestive and is better suited to an “adults only” channel.
The ad features pornographic film actress Julie Ann as a “cougar,” or an attractive older woman, in a bar, explaining why older women are better dating companions than their younger counterpart.
Though the sample complaint in its case report focused on the apparent offensive nature of the ad for depicting an older woman would be better “taken care of” by her rather than younger women, the ASB has observed that the ad primarily breaches Section 2.3 of the advertising code, which states that “Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not present or portray violence unless it is justifiable in the context of the product or service advertised.”
The Board was referring to two scenes in the video, in which the “cougar” shoves a burger into a younger woman’s face and pushes another girl off a chair.
Although the Board understood that the ad was intended to highlight in a humorous way that older women are “better” than younger women, the majority of its members considered that the aforementioned scenes “depicted a woman committing a violent act against woman.
“The majority of the Board considered that in a bar or licensed venue, such aggressive behaviour is not considered humorous or acceptable.”
As for the ad’s allegedly sexually charged content, the Board considered that while there are those who don’t like the concept of a dating service designed for older women and younger men, it doesn’t have the position to comment on the service’s suitability.
Since the actors in the commercial are all fully clothed and any suggestion of sexual intimacy is “very mild,” children would not understand any sexual undertones that it has. Therefore, the controversial ad was in compliance of the Section 2.4 of the Code, which states that ads or marketing communications “shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience.”
Since Cougarlife.com failed to respond to the complaint, the ASB has deemed it proper to have the commercial’s permit to air on Australian Free TV revoked.
It’s not just the Aussies that have a problem with the ad.
In June, the Television Bureau of Canada has also banned the commercial from airing, saying that it’s too violent for television.
Cougar Life is owned by Toronto-based company Avid Life Media, which is also responsible for the adultery-themed dating site AshleyMadison.com.
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