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- Phil Allison
July 25, 2005, 6:55 am
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Toyota 'sheep shagger' ad prompts 17 complaints
07 July 2005
A Toyota commercial in which two animated bulls hijack a
farmer's ute to impress two cows and call a ram a "sheep shagger" has
prompted 17 complaints to the Advertising Standards Complaints Board.
Wellington resident Donald McDonald and others complained the
term "sheep shagger" was offensive and some voiced concern about the final
image showing the vehicle rocking.
Mr McDonald also complained the animated scenario - which
involved the Hilux Ute driving through and scattering a flock of sheep
before flying over a bank and landing near the cows - also raised issues of
animal welfare and dangerous driving.
The authority considered whether the advertisement breached the
code of ethics by failing to have a sense of social responsibility or
causing serious or widespread offence.
In its determination, the authority found the commercial was
essentially an animated fantasy which was "obviously beyond the realm of
Although there were concerns the advertisement was screened at
an unsuitable time which enabled children to see it, the content was beyond
the comprehension of those under 10, the authority said
A minority of the complaints board found the commercial was
offensive: because it "sexualised" animal behaviour to sell a product; used
the term "sheep shagger" in a socially unacceptable context; and showed a
vehicle being stolen and driven recklessly.
However, in accordance with the majority view, the authority did
not uphold the complaints.
Mr McDonald, a repeat complainer to the authority, was warned in
May the authority would stop listening to him if he made any more "trivial"
This year, he complained when a presenter on Television New
Zealand's Close Up programme referred to the Asian tsunami as occurring
"just after sunrise" - when it occurred almost two hours after sunrise - and
its One News reported an iceberg was 2000 cubic metres, rather than
kilometres, in size.
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