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ASA bans foul-mouthed banter mug ads running on Sky Sports


By John Glenday, Reporter

September 8, 2021 | 3 min read

Online novelty goods retailer Banter King has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority, after paying for an array of mugs emblazoned with offensive slogans and words in a paid-for display ad on the Sky Sports app.

Banter King mug

The ASA has banned mug ads running on Sky Sports’ app

Why has Banter King been banned?

  • Users browsing the latest sporting results saw more than they bargained for on 27 April, when a they were shown an ad for novelty mugs bearing three foul-mouthed messages including; ’Cock-hungry whore’; ’My son is a cunt, he gets it from his father’ and ’Live Laugh Tosser’.

  • Making a mockery of public decency with its crockery, the rude and crude joke gifts duly sparked one complaint from an individual who considered that the image was likely to cause ’serious or widespread offence' and was 'irresponsibly targetted’.

  • Upholding both issues the ASA ordered that the ad must not be shown again in its present form, with Banter Group also receiving a verbal slap on the wrist for stretching the CAP Code too far.

  • Explaining its rationale the ASA wrote: “... consumer research by the ASA and others showed the use of the words such as ‘cunt‘ was so likely to offend, that they should not be used at all in marketing communications even if they were relevant to the product unless very carefully targeted to an audience that was unlikely to be offended by them.

  • “We further considered that the words ‘cock’ and ‘whore’ were strong swear words that were also likely to cause serious offence to a general audience.

  • Sky states that they employ a block list to prevent unsuitable and offensive ads from appearing but that inappropriate material would occasionally slip through the net. Having been notified of the complaint they took immediate steps to block URLs associated with the Banter Group.

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