Thursday, September 29, 2011

Toothless Tiger

Abercrombie & Fitch ad 'indecent' but will stay for now
Watchdog calls for its removal but has no legal right to enforce decision

The advertisement featuring a topless man that is plastered on the Orchard shopfront of American fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch breaches the local advertising code of decency, said a watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), which made the ruling, has called for the ad - put up after April - to be removed.

But there is a hitch - ASAS has no legal rights to enforce its decision. The picture of a model wearing a pair of low-slung jeans, which spans the entire four-level shopfront, remains on display at the Knightsbridge mall in Orchard Road for now.

Some people who found the ad to be lewd and inappropriate for the prominent location wrote to The Straits Times' Forum page last month, urging for it to be taken down.

Ok firstly I find nothing wrong with the advertisement. If so all topless men in Singapore need to be arrested.

Think the authorities in Singapore are over conservative and think we are virgin. Please lah! Secondary and even primary students in Singapore are already having sex.

Not that I am agreeable to it but I urge the authorities to put their priority right.

They should spend more time improving the moral of our youth then go around calling a picture of a topless man to be removed.

Then again the advertisement has been there like months and if I am not wrong, A&F is due to open in December this year so it has only 3 months max for display so why only now that this ASAS is asking it to be removed. Wayang?

The best part is ASAS has no enforcement rights. So why is it going around comment on things if it has no authority? Something does not gel here.

From the internet:

What ASAS does
• Provides advice and guidance when advertisers, advertising agencies and media owners are in doubt over the acceptability of advertisements – particularly before publication. However, ASAS is not intended to be a clearing-house for the approval of all advertising.

• Handles complaints about advertising practices. ASAS is able to rule on disputes between members of the Singapore Advertisers Association, the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents, Advertising Media Owners’ Association of Singapore and the Association of Broadcasters.

Advises on any advertisement prepared and/or published by persons or companies outside the four Associations, provided that it is brought to the attention of ASAS in accordance with the procedure of lodging a complaint.

• Issues sanctions:
o Withholding advertising space or time from advertisers, and withdrawal of the trading privileges from advertising agencies. Both these sanctions are applied by the media owners.
o Adverse publicity. ASAS has the option of publishing details of the outcome of the investigations, ie. naming those who may have offended against the code. This is particularly so for recalcitrant offenders.

Seem like ASAS are in charge of handling complaints. So I guess that this advertisement may has received a few complaints and ASAS knowing it can’t do nothing about it just have to go public and ask the advertisement to be removed.

Look like another “jia liao bee” authority.

"The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state (in the form of Members of Parliament, Judges, Police Officers, etc.), by academic knowledge of an area (someone can be an authority on a subject). "