The short and disturbing clip posted below was meant to draw attention to the problem of child abuse in Ireland. Instead it was pulled from the airwaves. The public service announcement was not removed because of the shocking violence against the child depicted in the spot. Watch the clip and see if you can figure out why it was scrubbed:
(Content warning -- this video shows violence against a child.)
Ireland's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered the commercial off all media outlets in the country, much to the dismay of the people behind the spot, the Irish Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).
The reason for the ASAI's action: They claim the ad is unbalanced because the spot only shows a man beating the child. Seriously. The Irish media watchdogs did not think it was "fair" because there was not equal time showing a woman striking the little boy.
How did the watchdog group come to this realization? According to a story in AdWeek, the ASA received just 13 complaints about the ad and decided that banning it was the right thing to do. The ASAI's formal statement:
Complainants objected to the advertisement on the basis that it was unbalanced in its treatment of the subject of abuse in the home. The advertisement only depicted a male as being the aggressor and the complainants considered this to be unbalanced.
Somehow the focus was shifted from the victim (the little boy) to the lack of equal balance in depicting the sex of the abuser. The ISPCC was shocked by the decision and has released a statement reacting to the ban:
The ISPCC believes that the campaign successfully tackles the very tough and sensitive issue of physical abuse in Ireland and while this may be unsettling to watch, it is a reality that should not be hidden in the shadows. Indeed the ASAI, in their report stated that the Complaints Committee “accepted that the level of violence portrayed while disturbing was realistic and that the primary message being conveyed in the advertising was the existence of this abuse.”
Ad Week reports that ISPCC is appealing the ruling.
H/T - AdWeek