ASA bans ‘profane’ Paramount ads for East Mode with Nigel Ng
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has labeled a Paramount pre-roll ad sexually explicit and offensive a week after its streamer launched in the UK.
The ad promoted the Comedy Central show East Mode with Nigel Ng and featured a young man whose parents attempt to get him “a f[bleep] buddy”. The ad contained the words “cum chums”, ”pound pals” and conversations that included sentences like “D in the V action”, “penis to enjoy”, “if you do decide to try some pegging” and “I’m more into mutual masturbation these days”.
The ad was seen on the YouTube 10 Most Powerful Prehistoric Animals that Ever Existed video on the Facts Machine channel, which the complainant claimed would be watched by children.
ASA bans ad for Comedy Central series East Mode With Nigel Ng
Paramount defended itself by saying the YouTube video wasn’t listed as made for kids and said the ad was tagged appropriately to match the content. It also claimed that as Facts Machine shows graphic animal violence, its content wasn’t aimed at children.
The ASA agreed with the complainant that animal videos appeal to kids and concluded that the ad was ”irresponsibly targeted”.
The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.
Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.Sign up
The ASA said that while the spot intended to be irreverent and reflected the show’s content, the profane comedy and language would cause offense. It added that viewers unfamiliar with the show wouldn’t be warned of its adult nature.
Despite believing the ad was light-hearted and wouldn’t cause offense, Paramount did acknowledge that it might be distasteful or unamusing. It also accepted that the profanities hadn’t been entirely obstructed.
Google Ads had already banned the ad after it was found to breach its policies. Paramount has removed the ads and, at the request of the ASA, kicked off a compliance procedure review assessing bleeping and adult content warnings.
The ad ban comes as Paramount (formerly ViacomCBS) rolls out its streamer in the UK and Ireland. To promote the service Paramount has gone big on its marketing campaign, enlisting A-listers like Uma Therman for its TV ad, and running experiential campaigns in London’s West End and a drone show in Worcestershire.