A full page advert in the Herald Sun promoting the upcoming musical The Book Of Mormon which asks an Australian fan if she’s “F****** HAPPY NOW” has been given the all clear from the Advertising Standards Board (ASB).
The Book of Mormon is a musical about two young Mormon missionaries who travel to Africa to preach the Mormon religion. It is religious satire musical written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone- the creators of South Park.
The print ad appeared in the Tuesday 17 January 2017 newspaper with tweets from Casey Campbell, check it out:
A sample of complaints included the following:
“Indecent language used in advertisement. The very clear use of implied strong language used in the ad, supposedly masked by the use of asterisks, three times. There is no mistaking the intent of the ad and I was offended to read it. It is a very short and explicit ad on a large, mostly blank page. I have a child reading over my shoulder sometimes as I read the paper, and it would be completely inappropriate for them to read this.
“I believe that this contravenes Section 2.5 of the AANA Code of Ethics, that “strong and obscene language should be avoided”.
Here are the original tweets from Campbell posted way back in 2012 and 2013:
WHEN WILL THE FUCKING BOOK OF MORMON COME TO AUSTRALIA?! PLEAAASE
— Casey Campbell (@capitarno) March 18, 2013
Oh my fucking god when is Book Of Mormon coming to Australia!?!
— Casey Campbell (@capitarno) November 18, 2012
In response to the complaints, a representative from The Book Of Mormon said: “We sought and received editorial approval from the publication and worked with them to amend original tweet to copy that was acceptable to them.
“Similar ads ran in newspapers in the UK and received minimal complaints however the Advertising Standards Authority did not uphold these complaints. Also it is our understanding that the Herald Sun uses unedited expletives in editorial.”
In its rulings, the ASB noted the ad had been placed in the Herald Sun and considered that while some children may look through a newspaper in the Board’s view newspapers are not of themselves generally considered to attract a high child readership or to be directed to children.
“The Board noted that most of the letters are replaced with asterisks and considered that although most adults would understand what words are being referred to, in the Board’s view it would not be immediately obvious to younger children if they were to see the advertisement.”
The Board considered that the advertisement did not use strong, obscene or inappropriate language and determined that the advertisement did not breach Section 2.5 of the Code.