New Zealand Law Society - Board upholds complaint over use of ‘smut’ in ad

Board upholds complaint over use of ‘smut’ in ad

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that an ad that used the term ‘ruck me’ was irresponsible and potentially offensive.

The billboard advertisement for Pak’n’Save, which was located on a street corner in Auckland, said “Ruck Me! That’s low prices… Sideline Supporter Deals.”

The complainant was concerned about the use of what they called “smutty innuendo in public advertising”.

The advertiser said the use of the word “ruck” was not offensive or indecent, but a rugby reference and the advertisement relied on humour. The advertisement ran during the Rugby World Cup.

In its consideration, the ASA referred to two previous decisions, including one that used the term “tell sugar to get fruct”, which was upheld

However, the ASA’s complaints board agreed that the use of the word ruck was used instead of another similar sounding offensive word, and the ad could be seen by children.

The board said while the word ‘ruck’ is associated with the game of rugby the term ‘ruck me’ is not.