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Jimmy Savile

TBM rapped by ASA for email with "Now then, now then" subject line and picture of Jimmy Savile in running shorts

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 9, 2013 | 2 min read

Extreme Publishing Ltd, trading as TBM Magazine (TBM), has been given in trouble by the ASA after sending an email in October 2012, stated "Now then, now then" in the subject line.

The email read "TBM How's about that then" in large print above a black and white image of Jimmy Savile sitting in an armchair, wearing running shorts and smoking a cigar, with a superimposed picture of TBM magazine in his hand.

Two people complained that the email was offensive, with text under the picture reading: "Christmas is coming and what better way of relaxing than to pull up a comfy velour settee, light up a Cuban cigar and finger through a copy of your favourite magazine - delivered direct to your door. TBM ... the publication that doesn't take itself too seriously. 'As it 'appens!'".

The magazine said TBM was well known to the motorcycle industry and its readers for having a humorous, irreverent and direct journalistic style, and that in designing the e-mail they had been satirising themselves. It added that an apology had been sent out, and a link to the email removed from the company’s Twitter page.

The ASA understood that the e-mail was an eNewsletter designed to promote Trailbike & Enduro Magazine and had been sent to a mailing list of current and past subscribers as well as companies which advertised in the magazine.

However, the email was sent only several days after the Metropolitan Police had launched a formal criminal investigation into alleged sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile, so the ASA ruled it was likely to cause serious offence to some.

This was not the only ad mentioning Savile to get banned by the ASA this week: an email for clothing company DirtySmart read "Choose your fate" with arrows pointing to a cartoon image of Savile.

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