It’s OK To Upset And Distress People If You’re A Charity!

March 28, 2012 10 Comments
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The advertising watchdog has cleared publicity material for the NSPCC after complaints that its reference to child abuse was “disturbing and offensive”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigation concerned a DVD sent as a direct mailing in December.

Oh, lovely! Just like those ghastly blowins or full-page adverts of moppets with hare lips you get in the Sunday supplements.

Well, never mind. Haven’t we just learned that if something’s ‘offensive’ it only takes a handful of people to get it banned?

Step forward, handful of people!

Seven people complained that the text on the cover was disturbing and offensive, while one complainant said it could cause distress to individuals who had suffered abuse.

Another said the DVD was inappropriate for children to see.

Oh, boy! Nine of ‘em! Boy, is the charity in hot water now!

The charity said it recognised that some people would be sensitive to the “difficult” issues of child abuse.

Hah! That won’t save you from the wrath of the…

Oh. Hang on. Maybe not:

Rejecting the objections, the ASA said: “We took the view that any discomfort inherent in the subject of child abuse ought to be balanced by the worthwhile purpose of raising awareness of it.

“We considered that recipients were likely to understand the importance of the issue the mailing presented and that individuals who had suffered abuse would be likely to appreciate the work of the NSPCC and the message contained within it.

“We considered that the ad made clear its intended purpose, but was not likely to cause excessive distress or serious or widespread offence.”

I…

Wait, hang on, something not right here!

The public shouldn’t have to view an advert for a sofa that has a slightly risqué slogan, based on five less complaints than this one, yet this gets a pass?

In its defence, the NSPCC said its mailings helped donations and it was therefore important that they made an impact.

So….as far as the ASA is concerned, it’s ok to upset and distress people as long as the money goes to what they consider ‘a good cause’?

Addendum: My mother has, it seems, been sending the RSPCA a small sum each month.

Well, that’s now stopping, because she was apparently rung up by their call centre staff last weekend (presumably trying to get her to increase this amount) who, despite her protestations that she did not want to hear about ‘the awful cruelty cases’ that they wanted to tell her about, carried on babbling away until she was forced to hang up on them.

The mailshots with the distressing pictures, she just put in the bin. The persistent phone call was the last straw.

I can’t say I’m not delighted.

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10 Responses to It’s OK To Upset And Distress People If You’re A Charity!

  1. Maaarrghk!
    March 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Now this bogus “charity” has got away with this one we can probably expect another dose of anti-smacking nuttery similar to the “cartoon kid” adverts of some years ago, suggesting that ANY person who smacks a child (currently 94% of UK parents support and use smacking) is OBVIOUSLY a baby murdering psychopath.

    On the subject of the DVD, had it come thro’ my letterbox it would have gone straight in the bin. These people and their ilk have never prevented a single murder or rape of a child, but they do a pretty good job of convincing many that they have.

    • richard
      March 28, 2012 at 10:52 am

      You might like to look at Stefan Molyneaux’ “Bomb in the brain” presentation which goes into the issue of physical puni shment on children and the effects on development. 94% of adults smack children, how is that turning out I wonder
      NB the Stefbot youtube “the facts about spanking” is worth a look.

      • mister_choos
        March 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

        On the whole it seems to work out alot better than not smacking. Most kids have been smacked at some point. It has been going on pretty much forever. And most of us haven’t turned into dysfunctional adults.

        Just to be clear before this is brought up. I can’t remember the last time that I smacked any of my 4 kids. The youngest is 2 so is at the prime age for it. But if I felt it was necessary I would. (Better a smack from me for poking the dog in the eye than the dog taking matters into his own paws.)

        • March 29, 2012 at 5:55 am

          Spot on!

          • Maaarrghk!
            March 30, 2012 at 6:23 am

            Richard. Were it not for the fact that it’s complete bollocks, I might have taken a look at your video.

            But just like all the rest of the anti-smacking nutter propaganda it will most likely be based on the “findings” of Murray Strauss. Strauss did some research coming from an ant-smacking nutter standpoint which has been ripped to shreds. But even he could not prove that anti-smacking nuttery works and his conclusions say that he has found no proof despite the inherant bias in his methods.

            Strauss then goes on to say that although he has found NO EVIDENCE against smacking a noaughty child, it his OPINION that parents should not.

            Anti-smacking nutters have since all taken this OPINION as being the sum conclusion of Stauss’ work.

            More recent work has focussed soley on dysfuctional families as a basis for another attempt to ban smacking, rather than a more realistic cross-section of the whole of society.

            PATHETIC!

  2. liannth
    March 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Maaarrghk! – “On the subject of the DVD, had it come thro’ my letterbox it would have gone straight in the bin.”

    Or you could post it back to the NSPCC without a stamp (after 30th April of course).

    • David
      March 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Or fill the envelope with as heavey a weight as it will hold before posting it back – just so they’re charged more for the postal fee. If they’ve got a Freepost address, even better. Just send loads of stuff.

      • March 29, 2012 at 5:55 am

        I like that idea!

        • Maaarrghk!
          March 30, 2012 at 10:15 am

          Note to self: A4 envelope and lump of 20mm steel plate out of the scrap bin……

  3. James K
    March 30, 2012 at 12:59 am

    “Rejecting the objections, the ASA said: ‘We took the view that any discomfort inherent in the subject of child abuse ought to be balanced by the worthwhile purpose of raising awareness of it.’”

    Is there a single person in the country who is unaware of the problem of child abuse? On the other hand, how many are there who are already close to panic?

    “In its defence, the NSPCC said its mailings helped donations and it was therefore important that they made an impact.”

    Ah yes, the important business of fundraising.

    What was the purpose of the “Full Stop” campaign? Most people might think it had something to do with violence against children. Not so. In unguarded comments, the outgoing head of the NSPCC said that the purpose had been to raise £250 million for the NSPCC itself – a target that was met.

    Begging letters from the NSPCC describe cases of child cruelty that are literally one in a million. These cases are used to promote changes in parents’ behaviour, and do influence the decent majority of parents (possibly to the detriment of their children); however, it is doubtful that they have any impact at all on the worst one in a million parents. If we let the NSPCC tell us how to raise our children until the worst one in a million parents have reformed, then we are giving the NSPCC carte blanche to dictate whatever rules it wants – forever.

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