God Loves Women

A blog sharing my love of God, the love He has for women and my frustration that the Church often doesn't realise this


Lynx Advert Complain: Response

Posted by God Loves Women on February 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I have had a couple of people feedback to me the response the recieved from ASA after complaining about the Lynx Axe advert and Hannah J who blogs here and is on twitter as @girltaristhan forwarded me the response she recieved from ASA.  Here it is:


Dear xxxxxxx


Thank you for your recent complaint about a TV ad by Unilever UK Ltd for Lynx Final Edition.  I’m sorry to hear it has caused you concern.  


The ASA can intervene if an advertisement seems likely to be in breach of The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising by, among other things, provoking serious or widespread offence, causing significant harm or misleading consumers to their detriment.  The ASA bases its judgments on the content of the ad and the medium, audience, product type and prevailing standards in society.


We have previously received a number of complaints about this ad and decided to refer them to the ASA Council for consideration.  Council acknowledged that the ad may not appeal to all viewers however, it was considered that the ad was intended to be light hearted and unlikely to be seen as mocking religion or belittling the biblical story of Noah's Ark.  Council noted that Clearcast (the organisation which approves ads prior to broadcast) had applied a scheduling restriction to the ad so that it would not be transmitted in the breaks surrounding religious programmes.  It considered that the restriction was appropriate and that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.


In addition, Council noted that the advertiser was continuing with the exaggerated theme of the product's desirability to women.  Although it acknowledged that some viewers might find the content of the ad distasteful, Council concluded that it was unlikely to be seen as degrading or objectifying women and was therefore not in breach of the BCAP Code.


As the Council has already reached a decision on this ad there is no further action we can take.  We have however already made the advertiser aware of the issues that have been raised.


I realise that this outcome will disappoint you, but thank you for taking the time to contact us with your views.  Our website, www.asa.org.uk, contains information about us and the work we do.


Kind regards


Laura Walker


Complaints Executive


My thoughts:


1) ASA and Clearcast seem to be suggesting that the only people who would be offended by the mocking of the sacred story of Noah are religious people who watch "religious programme".  Now as much as I know Songs of Praise is cherished by some Christians, it is not really my cup of tea, and I strugle with the stereotyping.

2) ASA have said that if something is "lighthearted" then that makes it unlikely to cause offence.  So if we had "lighthearted" adverts promoting racist attitudes, that would be okay would it?  Or "lighthearted" adverts promoting discrimination against disabled people, it wouldn't be a problem?  Of course it's not okay, but the reality is that sexist attitudes towards women are seen as not offensive and the "can't you take a joke?" attitude is used regularly to shut down anyone who objects.

3) The idea that something has to cause "widespread" offence for something to actually be considered offensive is ridiculous.  A woman is assaulted every 6 seconds in the UK, this should be causing widespread offence.  It is not, because the attitudes and beliefs people hold mean they minimise it and consider it "nothing to do with them".

4) It appears that this advert has continued to be shown because Lynx have been so outrageous in their depictions.  Perhaps if the women in the advert were slightly more clothed, it would have been less acceptable!

5) ASA are saying that once a decision has been taken on something, they cannot review that decision.  Obviously this seems like a senseless idea.  There is no reason they cannot take the new complaints that have come forward and re-examine the issues people are raising.


I think this email shows us how large the battle we are fighting is .  If it is only through "widespread" public offence that we can get adverts removed, we need to be raising public consiousness to such a level that sexism is not only noticed, but also challenged.


They say the last thing a fish will ever notice is water.  And in a sense with the all pervasive nature attitudes of women in our culture, we have a massive work on our hands to get the majority to recognise the "water" that is all around them.  Thank goodness we don't have to do this by ourselves!  We have Him who is able to do more than we could ask or imagine helping us.

Categories: Lynx Complaint

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Reply prodigalmomma
5:23 PM on February 1, 2012 
I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who was rather annoyed over the Lynx advert... what got to me was that it subverted the whole idea and showed the man as ultimately in control and in charge... asides the religious problems with this I have huge problems with this attitude depicted in the norm. 1 in every 4 UK women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime... and yet we have advertising shown at peak times which emphasizes the dominance of the man over the woman.

And then there's the religious aspect; this wonderful story of man's faithful obedience to God's will despite how crazy it must have seen - awesome courage! (I actually think the movie "Evan Almighty" shows this side of the story rather well - funny, whilst keeping true to the central meaning of the original).
Reply lizzie_rascal84
11:39 AM on February 5, 2012 
Isn't it great how we always come across something that undermines the equality of women?!

I have complained, I have had several emails from companies asking Christians to complain, I wonder if Jews and Muslims are doing the same.

I hope that it does get pulled, or it falls so far into obscurity that it doesn't get brought out again.
Reply Jenny
4:38 PM on February 8, 2012 
Sorry if you all know this: Lynx is made by Unilever who also make Dove. Dove's reall beauty campaign starts to lack integrity when connected with Lynx. Ach! Capatilism.