Advertising tobacco products is banned from British television, and rightfully so. Also banned are adverts with explicit sexual or racial content, for example. A commercial recommending a yoghurt-like product is banned in the UK for exaggerating its health benefits, and so is one advertising make-up, which was aired after heavy airbrushing and photoshopping.
There are plans to outlaw advertising cosmetic surgery such as breast enlargements.
There are even rules in the UK; restrictions on advertising which ‘might result in harm to children physically, mentally or morally’ and on adverts employing methods that ‘take advantage of the natural credulity and sense of loyalty of children.’ [ITC]
Unfortunately, there are no rules against advertising murder under the pretence of adventure.
The British Army, Airforce and Navy, in concert with the Territorial Army, are all happy to run TV commercials on British television, telling viewers how much fun is to be had in the armed forces. Their advertising is aimed at grown-up people, which is bad enough, but most definitely also aims at younger recruits: boys and girls barely able to enjoy sex without breaking the law, boys and girls not yet entitled to vote, to drive a car, or to work through the night in a 24-hour fast food outlet.
These boys and girls are welcome to join the military though, and learn to become a murderer, or be butchered themselves. When they return from ‘deployment’ in a coffin, the country mourns both in silence and in an outcry of shock about the devastating tragedy that this 17 year old soldier bit the dust, roadside in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
17 or 43, male or female, black or white or ginger. It’s murder all the same, and advertising it is a disgrace.