The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) have taken the decision to ban another Tombola Bingo advert and this time they cited the fact that it presented a negative racial stereotype. In the later part of 2009, Tombola Bingo launched a series of online bingo TV adverts dictating a Hawaiian theme.
In conjunction with this they ran an Hawaiian style holiday competition at their online bingo site and luckily for them this campaign is now over, as the banning of this advert could have cost them dear. In one of the Hawaiian TV bingo ads aired by Tombola Bingo is showed an older white man dressed up in a tuxedo and sitting next to him was a black man dressed in an Hawaiian shirt singing and repeating everything the white man said.
This caused just two viewers to make a complaint against the advert. They challenged “whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed it presented a negative racial stereotype.” As we know this complaint was upheld, which does mean the ad cannot be show again on our small screens in its current form.
In their conclusion the ASA stated – “We noted that he seemed to look to the white man for reassurance or instruction suggesting that he lacked the confidence or intellect to behave otherwise. We considered that the ad could be interpreted as humiliating, stigmatising or undermining the standing of the black character and was therefore likely to cause serious offence.”
The ASA also took further action by advising Tombola Bingo, to take care not to present negative racial stereotypes in future.
In response Tombola Bingo said, “They did not intend to use the ad again in future.”
Upon viewing this particular advert myself, it just seemed like another light hearted advert from Tombola Bingo and one that fit in nicely with their series of Hawaiian themed ads. At no point did I find it racial or degrading to the black man sitting in the Hawaiian shirt, he just looked like he was having fun, however, when you do read into what the ASA had to say about this ad, you do get their point.