Bristol Evening Post: The Devil’s Advocate
Bristol Evening Post had published this controversial outdoor advertisement campaign in UK on a beer mat shaped like a devil’s head. These beer mats were distributed in October 2003. The campaign attracted many complaints for being offensive. Text that appeared on the mats stated, ‘I must take exception to New Labour’s suggestion that the army must give disabled people equal opportunities. We’ve already diluted our fighting forces with women and poofs, but this is just getting silly. Taking on the Iraqi Irregulars was never going to be a barrel of laughs at the best of times, but it’s hardly going to put the fear of God into them when rolling down the road to Basra comes the massed ranks of the Third Battalion, Her Majesty’s Armoured Invalid Carriages, is it? The Devil’s Advocate every Wednesday in your Evening Post.’
The complaints alleged that advertisement was discriminatory, offensive and irresponsible. On the other hand advertisers contested the issue saying the advertisement was neither discriminatory nor in breach of the Code. The Authority ruled that the advertisement was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to consumers and told the advertisers not to repeat the approach. The advertisers were unable to withdraw these advertisements as they were already in circulation. The advertisers said that they had not repeated the approach and they are not planning it in near future.