It’s pretty common to give your partner a soft nudge if their snoring is keeping you up at night, but now an advert showing a women elbowing her partner over the noise has been banned over a ‘domestic violence’ complaint.
The Advertising Standards Board, Australia’s independent advertising complaints adjudicator, pulled the ad for Sleep Clinics Albury and Wodonga after a viewer found it offensive.
The footage showed a woman elbowing her partner in the stomach when he dozed off in a cinema, before pushing him out of bed in reaction to his snoring. He was then kicked out of the bedroom.
A voiceover narrated the scenes, asking: “On edge? Bruised ribs?… Slight concussion?… These are some of the symptoms which could lead to serious consequences. Public ridicule. These too are symptoms which could lead to serious consequences… so save yourself and your loved one.”
In response to the ad, a complainant claimed the woman’s behaviour “demeans, humiliates, embarrasses and physically abuses her partner”.
“Had the roles been portrayed in reverse, where the woman had sleep issues and the man elbows his partner and gets pushed out of bed, there would have been an out cry over violence against women,” the viewer argued in the official complaint.
In a case report, obtained by Starts at 60, the advertising watchdog revealed they made the decision to ban the controversial advert over the fact the man reacted negatively to being hit, adding the reference to ‘concussion’ could be very serious.
“The panel considered that the nature and level of domestic violence depicted in the advertisement was not justifiable in the context of advertising a sleep clinic,” Ad Standards said in the case report.
It comes almost a year after a series of edgy funeral adverts that were set to be plastered on trains and tube stations in the London Underground were banned by Transport for London (TFL) because it was thought they would cause “serious and widespread offence”.
Beyond, the company behind the adverts, said the whole point of the campaign was to break the taboo around death, and insisted the images weren’t cruel or mocking people losing their lives. The four images used models in a range of different, everyday situations, rather than the more popular images of an elderly couple discussing their funeral plans.
Starts at 60 has contacted Sleep Clinics Albury and Wodonga for comment.