Quite a turn around…–Ed.
A radio advertisement has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for implying Germans are tyrants.
Complaints were upheld about a Reed recruitment website commercial, which had an angry boss speaking in German.
TheASA said it could cause serious offence to some listeners and was foundto be offensive because it used a negative stereotype.
The advert had sparked 13 complaints from the public, but Reed did not comment on them.
TheASA also said that while the use of stereotypes was “inevitable” toestablish a character in a short radio advert, this should not”perpetuate damaging misconceptions”.
The watchdog said: “We noted the ad used a German speaker, ratherthan someone speaking English, to portray the boss as ‘a bit of atyrant’ and the humour derived from a stereotype at the expense ofGerman people.
“We considered that the portrayal suggested that German people were more likely to be unreasonable or aggressive to others.
“Weconcluded that, given the extreme reaction and aggressive tone of theGerman-speaking boss, the ad reinforced a negative and outdatedcultural stereotype of German people as overpowering and tyrannical andtherefore the ad had the potential to cause serious offence to somelisteners.”
The advert was found to have breached rules governing good taste and must not be broadcast again in its current form.
AlthoughReed has not commented, industry body the Radio Advertising ClearanceCentre said it believed most listeners would have found the advert”humorous and inoffensive”.