The ASA/CAP have released a post called: United By The Impact Of Music – Eurovision 2023. I have enclosed the text of the link below, but please have a look at the ASA/CAP site as there are lots of things of interest to anyone with an interest in Ethical Marketing.
The Eurovision slogan for 2023 – United By Music – represents both the unique partnership between the UK and Ukraine, as Liverpool hosts on their behalf, and the joyous way that music can bring people together.
Music has impact.
That’s just as true for ads. It’s important to make sure the music you choose connects with crowd but doesn’t clash with the Code.
We’re Going Up Up Up – Euphoria!
Earlier this year, The Muff Liquor Company posted content showing Laura Whitmore drinking various beverages, including gin-based “Muff and Tonic”, becoming increasingly energetic as she danced to the accompanying track. This included lyrics stating, “I’ll be fucked up if you can’t be right here”.
In their assessment, the ASA considered that the term “fucked up” was a well-known colloquialism for drunkenness and that Ms Whitmore appeared to dance more enthusiastically when drinking the alcoholic drinks.
Ads for alcohol must not claim or imply that alcohol is capable of changing mood or enhancing confidence, so complaints were upheld on that basis.
Drop the beats, not a clanger.
Performing as bloodthirsty orcs, Lordi’s 2006 winning act caught attention. Loud and a bit scary, it was something different for an occasion where the unexpected is expected.
It’s important to know your audience. In 2020, the ASA upheld complaints against an ad for the film It Chapter Two, which appeared on a Spotify Classical Lullabies playlist – including the song “Children’s Music No.1: Lullaby”.
The ad featured a suspenseful soundtrack of cinematic drum noise and the voice of Pennywise the clown shouting “Oh I missed you” in a loud and desperate manner, elements the ASA considered would cause distress to youngsters.
Whilst Warner Bros had taken steps to target the ad, Spotify offered no explanation as to why the ad ultimately appeared on a playlist designed to be heard by young children and the complaint was upheld.
Bring Me Sunshine
When used with particular thought and care, music can be used to convey potent emotion in keeping with the spirit of the Code.
A TV ad for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), seen in June 2022, featured a female voice singing Bring Me Sunshine over images of personal videos of men and women who had taken their own lives. On-screen text stated, “suicidal doesn’t always look suicidal”.
The ASA acknowledged that the ad was likely to be distressing to some viewers but that the ads message to look beyond the surface to save lives was an important one. They considered that because the ad had been given a scheduling restriction to ensure the ad was not transmitted around programming for under 16’s, the powerful message of the ad had been targeted appropriately and complaints were not upheld.
Need more advice?
If you’d like some further advice on entertainment ads please see our guidance, and if you need bespoke advice on your non-broadcast ads, our Copy Advice team are here to help.