Countdown to our 50th anniversary: 1982 – 83
29 August 2012
The year was 1982 and it was a very good year for the silver screen. Cult children’s classic “The Dark Crystal” was released, as was “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”. But perhaps more significantly, following the storming success of the ASA’s informational film “A Question of Standards”, we had produced a new promotional film entitled “Two Too Many”, which won the bronze prize in the Information Section at the Berlin International Consumer Film Festival. The ASA’s first, but perhaps not last, foray onto the red carpet.
The film starred Roy Kinnear, maybe not as well known for his part in Two Too Many as for his role as Planchet in “The Return of the Musketeers” alongside Michael York as D'Artagnan.
The story featured two intertwined case histories and told of a dishonest advertiser, who was the subject of a complaint to the ASA at the same time as his wife was complaining, successfully, on behalf of their son. Apparently, it emphasised the accessibility and effectiveness of the Authority in a light-hearted way.
Meanwhile, the ASA was moving on in leaps and bounds as modern technology was rolled out across our offices, with the establishment of a computer system in 1982, primarily for the monitoring of ads.
Our Annual Report also notes that the ASA had been receiving increasing numbers of complaints from members of the public regarding the way in which women were portrayed in ads, with complainants claiming that women were being portrayed in either a degrading way, or to reinforce the notion that women fulfilled a subservient role within the family unit.
Because of the rising numbers of complaints, the ASA had undertaken a survey of attitudes in a representative national sample of women, the results of which were revealed in a report entitled “Herself Appraised: The Treatment of Women in Advertisements in the spring of 1982.”
The findings of the survey revealed that there was not widespread dissatisfaction amongst women, although there was a significant minority who felt that some women may feel degraded about the treatment of their sex in ads. The ASA felt that the report’s findings would serve as a tool of persuasion for the ad industry to be more conscious of how they portrayed women who, after all, comprised 50% of their audience.
And finally we can reveal that the Annual Report in 1982 cost £2.25, including postage, or £2 if it was collected in person from the ASA’s offices. Nowadays, we ensure that the Annual Report is available for free.
Read the 1982 Annual Report here