ANZ Ad Not Racist Or Unhygienic: Advertising Standards

ANZ Ad Not Racist Or Unhygienic: Advertising Standards
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The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has dismissed a complaint against the latest series of ANZ mobile payments which featured a woman paying for her juice by bum-tapping her card. Check it out:

The complaint was two-fold: the women is rude and the ad has racist undertones.

Here’s the full complaint:

“The portrayal of people using their phone while paying for goods by tapping the phone or while it sits in their pocket and they talk to a friend is an absolute insult to those behind the counter in the retail industry. It shows complete lack of respect towards other people, it promotes the use of mobile phones as if they are a part of the human body rather than a phone with clever ideas – which by the way annoy the hell out of me as they are now addictive to a lot of people like many other “bad” things in life.

“The rudeness of the women by not removing her phone from her pocket which is saying it is ok to treat shop keepers in such a rude manner. The racism as the cafe owner appears Asian in appearance and it seems the women are to rude or racist to actually interact with her. The discrimination against retail workers as it appears it is ok to be rude when paying by presenting your behind to the cashier to pay. The unhygienic way she presents her phone to pay, very disrespectful and gross for everyone else that uses that machine.”

In response to the complaints, an ANZ representative said the advert leveraged humour to highlight the convenience of the product.

  • The female customer is not rude to the café owner; she makes the payment and clearly thanks the woman before leaving the café.
  • The payment method has been dramatised for comedic effect, to highlight the benefits of mobile payment technology. This is further supported by the reaction of the male customer who overtly calls out the unusual payment method, questioning it with the café owner
  • Representing vibrant and diverse ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, genders and ages in our advertisements is important to ANZ, as it reflects the diverse nature of Australia and our customers. Consistent with ANZ’s previous advertising campaigns, the Advertisement depicts a broad cross-section of Australians of diverse ages, sexes and nationalities.

The case was ultimately dismissed by the ASB. Noting that there is nothing in the advertisement to indicate a negative depiction of any of the actors on the basis of their race. The Board acknowledged that paying in such a way could be considered rude behaviour, but this was not because the woman was Asian, and noted that the woman paying does say thank you.

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