"Disturbing", "incestuous" Visa ad complaints rejected by ASB

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 29 May 2015

A Visa ad where a young man catches his parents 'life painting' in the bedroom has had complaints against it dismissed by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), despite concerns that the ad had a “very incestuous flavour.”

The ad shows a young man barging into his parent's bedrooms, only to find his mother posing naked and his father painting her.

The ad received several complaints to the advertising watchdog for its treatment of sex and nudity.

One complaint said: “Watching a grown man go in his parents’ bedroom while his father is painting his mother naked is very disturbing.

“[It is] uncomfortable to watch and [an] incestuous connotation is very present as the father and mother are accepting of son watching them - could be foreplay. Very incestuous flavour... sick.”

Another said: “There is no need for nudity in ads. I find it disgusting.”

“I was upset by this ad because there was nudity in it and it was shown during the time where young kids were still watching TV.”

However the ASB dismissed all complaints against the ad noting the scenario depicted is intended to be funny.

“The board noted that the advertisement is intended to be light-hearted and shows a scenario that is somewhat far-fetched and humorous,” the ASB said.

“The board noted one of the complainants concerns that the advertisement had incestuous undertones. The board considered that there is no suggestion that alludes to any inappropriate behaviour and nothing that suggests incest.

In response, Visa said the advertisement was not inappropriate given the 'mother' in the ad was not sexualised and the advertisement's tone was “light-hearted and humorous.”

“The main purpose of the advertisement is to demonstrate in a humorous way that by using Visa Checkout to make online purchases, consumers can save time,” Visa said.

“Her pose is not sexualised in any way and she is not shown in an exploitative or degrading manner; and the general tone of the advertisement is light-hearted and humorous.”


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