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11th December
2007
  

Setanta Santa...

Complaints that a 'couple of puppies' degrades women

Setanta Santa The advertising regulator is considering investigating Des Lynam's Setanta Claus TV ad after complaints that it degrades women by referring to breasts as "puppies".

Setanta's ad features Des Lynam dressed in a yellow Santa suit in a grotto, while his scantily clad helper "Tinseltoes" flashes a large amount of cleavage.

This prompts a male visitor to the Setanta grotto to grin, stare and absentmindedly mention a "couple of puppies".

The Advertising Standards Authority has received 23 complaints about the TV ad and is considering launching an investigation to see if it breaks the advertising standards code.

Complainants have objected that the ad is offensive and degrading to women because of the use of the word "puppies" as a reference to breasts. Others argued that the ad is sexist, objectifies women and is running at inappropriate times of the day for such content to be shown.

 

2nd March
2008
  

Setanta Claus Cleared...

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Complainants are a bunch of whinging puppies

Setanta Santa The advertising watchdog has cleared a Setanta TV ad campaign featuring Des Lynam which received 36 complaints that it degraded women by referring to breasts as puppies.

Setanta's Setanta Claus ad featured Lynam dressed in a yellow Santa suit in a grotto, while his scantily clad helper "Tinseltoes" - Big Brother's Thaila Zucchi - flashed her cleavage.

This prompted a male visitor to the grotto to grin, stare and absentmindedly mention a "couple of puppies".

The Advertising Standards Authority received 36 complaints that the ad was offensive as it objectified and degraded women and was sexist. Nine of the complainants also argued that the Santa theme would be of interest to children and that such an ad should not be broadcast before 9pm.

The ASA noted that some viewers might see the portrayal of Zucchi with her cleavage on display as objectifying women and that the reference Give him what he wants this Christmas could be seen by some as treating women as sex objects. However, it decided that most viewers would see it as mild sexual innuendo that was unlikely to provoke serious or widespread offence.

The ASA also rejected the nine complaints that the ad was unsuitable for children and should not be shown before 9pm. It concluded that the ad, which aired with a restriction not to be shown around programmes targeted at children, had enough differences from a real Christmas scene - such as Lynam dressed in Setanta yellow - that children would know the difference.

The ASA also said children would not understand the double entendre messages in the ad and take them at face value . Setanta's ad was cleared by the ASA.