“Crass and offensive” Stan ad cleared by ASB

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 10 June 2015

Rebel Wilson's ad for Fairfax's and Nine's streaming player, Stan, has garnered complaints about its risky nature, and play on the word pussy.

The spot has the popular Australian celebrity talking about how much she loves the streaming service, she then adds that “me and my big pussy love it”, the camera then pans to her cat, who clearly also loves the streaming service.

One person who took offence to the spot wrote to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) saying: “The advertiser's play on the word 'pussy', and that which follows, is blatantly crass and offensive.

“It bespeaks of an attempt to be funny and to push the barriers, which is very common in movie comedies which appeal to the young [consistently lowering our standards of thinking], and in a movie environment such as Pitch Perfect 2, which I recently watched, I accept that it is one's choice to go to watch such humour in a movie. To have that brought into our lounge rooms without our permission in unacceptable.”

They added that every time it comes on, and that's repeatedly, it offends them.

“As I think it would any thinking, intelligent woman who doesn't need to have this level of 'humour' brought into her home without consent, numerous times during the course of a programme she may wish to watch.”

In response the advertiser said the advertisement uses sexual innuendo for humorous effect to draw attention to features of the service, namely the selection of mature audience and world movies available on Stan.

“The double entendre used in the advertisement is a play on the word “pussy,” used here as a literal reference to the Rebel character’s pet cat and, in the context, carrying a simultaneous suggestive reference to the female genitalia,” the advertiser said.

“The word “pussy” is in common use in the Australian vernacular, and the level of innuendo here is appropriate to its rating and scheduled timeslot. Particularly given the humorous context and the playful tone of the delivery by the performers, the advertisement cannot be said to degrade or abuse any person or group of persons.”

While the ASB did note that it has previously upheld complaints that featured the work “pussy”, in this case because of the clear pointer to the cat, it has dismissed the complaint.

“The board considered that while some people in the community would find the reference unnecessary or offensive, in the board’s view most members of the community would not find the word ‘pussy’ when used in conjunction with a cat to be language which is strong, obscene or inappropriate in the circumstances.”

“Finding that the advertisement did not breach the code on other grounds, the board dismissed the complaint.”


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