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Ad called 'offensive to people with ginger hair' yanked from British TV

[ 2009-12-17 11:52]     字号 [] [] []  
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LONDON: An advert for a TV dating show has been banned for suggesting that people with ginger hair are unattractive, Britain's advertising watchdog said yesterday.

Virgin Media's newspaper advert for the program Dating in the Dark included the text: "How do you spot a ginger in the dark?"

Virgin said the premise of the show was to challenge people's perception of attractiveness and to encourage decisions based on personality as well as looks.

However the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed with three complainants that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and should not be used again.

"We considered the text was likely to be interpreted ... as a statement that reflected a choice between looks and personality ... being a suggestion that people with ginger hair were unattractive," the authority said.

"We considered the ad was unlikely to be interpreted to be light-hearted in tone and was instead likely to be seen as prejudicial against people with ginger hair."

Other adverts in the series used to promote the show had included the tagline: "When the lights come on I just hope I haven't been kissing Shrek".

On Tuesday, Britain's biggest retailer Tesco apologized and said it had withdrawn a Christmas card which showed a child with red hair sitting on the lap of Santa Claus under the banner: "Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones".


1. What is the name of the TV programme at the centre of this controversy?

2. How many complaints were made?

3. Which retailer has withdrawn a card?


1. Dating in the Dark.

2. Three.

3. Tesco.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Ad called 'offensive to people with ginger hair' yanked from British TV

About the broadcaster:

Ad called 'offensive to people with ginger hair' yanked from British TV

Linda Kennedy is a presenter and writer. She has reported and commented extensively on BBC TV, and was a correspondent for "News at Ten" on ITV. She also wrote a column for The Scotsman newspaper.