Saturday, August 14

Of Myths and Faggots

Two recent complaints which have been made to the British media watchdog Ofcom have come to the attention of the editor. Both are a reflection of the times we live in.

An advertisement for supermarket chain Somerfield has been banned for using the word faggots. The radio advertisement featured a husband complaining that his wife had served up the same meals every week. When she told him that it was Friday so he would be getting his usual faggots, he replied, ''I 've got nothing against faggot, I just don't fancy them''.

Three listeners complained to Ofcom about the content of the ad. , saying that faggots alluded to homosexuals. Somerfield insisted that the ad refers only to food products. Faggots, they claimed, were only chosen to demonstrate the idea because they are commonly perceived as an outdated and slightly comical product and definitely did not have any allusions to homosexuality.''

Ofcom upheld the complaints ruling that the term faggots was ''highly derogatory'' and banned the broadcast until the word faggot was removed. The ruling from the regulator stated '' Irrespective of the advertiser's denial of intent and the brevity of the campaign, we believe that the aired comment was likely to have been perceived at best as innuendo''.

While Somerfield consider whether to advertise their fine selection of fairy cakes, they should perhaps check their stock of Trojan Condoms. This is not because I have a vested interest but because the guardian of our national consumer interest Ofcom has rejected 209 complaints by outraged British Subjects on the content of Trojan Condoms television advert.

Indeed a curiously named product - we all know about the wooden horse. The ad is raunchy or sensuous depending upon ones point of view, it features a head and shoulders close-up of a woman having an orgasm. The filming, all without oral script, is viewed from a position that any heterosexual man would be familiar; the scene illustrates a performance of Herculean satisfaction with the clear enjoyment of the male's partner. The ad was first broadcast during the commercial break of Big Brother.

The editors understanding is that the advertising studio that produced the advert is French, well of course.
Perhaps because of the 'French connection' the British watchdog ruled that '' the ad did not breach advertising standards''.

Maybe, but Trojan strength is of myths and legends.

Floret Ilium.
With acknowledgement to the Shropshire Star 6 July,2004 and On Target supplement no. 458 produced by Intelegence Publications, Sudbury Suffolk. CO10 2TD

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