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“Bloody caravaners”.

Holden landed itself in some hot water for its promotion of this statement, used in its TV commercial for the Colorado 7 off-roader, earlier this year.

So much in fact, that at the half way point of 2015, no other ad has received more complaints from annoyed viewers — 161 in total.

Australia’s Advertising Standards Board this week revealed the most complained-about advertisements across the first half of 2015, and the list makes for… interesting reading.

The Holden ad depicted a Colorado 7 towing a caravan and being driven through various 4WD terrains, including dirt roads and a shallow water river crossing. The characters were a father and son enjoying this drive together. As the Holden overtakes a slow-moving vehicle towing another caravan, the driver says “bloody caravaners”, before his son imitates him.

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Complainants were apparently concerned about the child ‘swearing’, however the Board found that ‘bloody’ was a commonly accepted colloquial term which wasn’t said aggressively. Thereby, it dismissed the complaints.

You can read a full list of the complaints from members of the public towards this ad here, but a sample includes:

  • “I’m offended by the use of swearing in the ad by the parent which is then repeated by the young child.”
  • “This sends a poor message to drivers and puts caravan owners in a poor light. I believe that this ad in its current format is very irresponsible.”
  • “This ad is wrong on many levels including berating drivers who are being cautious, promoting a form of road rage that could cause drivers to overtake slower vehicles too soon while encouraging children to be intolerant.”

In retort, Holden said: “It is worth noting that this Advertisement was given a ‘PG’ rating”, and said it was not shown on weekdays from 6am to 8.30am, and 4pm to 7pm, and on weekends between 6am and 10am. A G-rated version without the “bloody” was made for those times.

Some other advertisements on the ‘most complained about’ list included TVCs from ‘dating’ site Ashley Maddison, streaming service Stan, Fantastic Snacks and Unilever Australia (for a hair product ad with two men kissing).

We’ll stay impartial, but tell us in the comments below what you think of these complaints. Is there any merit?




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