Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ad For Morning After Pill Does Not Violate Code

Despite its cartoon style, an ad for Levonelle One Step, a "morning after" pill does not make light of contraception, says the Advertising Standards Authority, and may continue to air during the later evening hours. The ASA had received more than 100 complaints about the contraceptive, which is manufactured by Bayer Schering Pharma.

The ASA noted that the visuals and on-screen text referred to the fact that a condom had split, and we considered that it was clear that the couple's method of contraception had failed, rather than that they had had unprotected sex. We also noted that the voice-over and on-screen text referred to the product as "emergency contraception", and we considered that it was also clear from the ad that the product was designed to be used in a specific situation where a contraceptive mishap had occurred, rather than as a regular form of contraception. We noted that the woman looked worried as she was shown sitting in bed and on the way to the chemist, and we considered that the ad suggested that her situation was not trivial but of concern to her. We considered that the animation did not present the woman in a glamorous or fashionable way, and we therefore considered that the style of the ad was unlikely to have particular appeal to young people. Because of that, and because we considered that the ad as a whole did not trivialise the issue of emergency contraception or encourage unprotected sex, we concluded that the ad would not cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 6.1 (Offence) but did not find it in breach.

Read the entire adjudication here.

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