A magazine ad for a telecommunications company, Andrews and Arnold, appeared in Linux Voice and featured text that stated, "Home :: 1 BROADBAND F*CK FILTERING".
The complainant challenged whether it was irresponsible to show the ad in a publication whose readership included children.
Andrews and Arnold Ltd stated the publication was not targeted at children. They said that its cover price was far more than those of magazines aimed at children. Furthermore, they said that the only other way the magazine could be purchased was via subscription, which required a card payment.
Andrews and Arnold said that the publication had no appeal to children and was a minority interest to adults, with a readership of approximately 8,000. They stated that although the magazine was predominantly technology based in nature, it included articles regarding topics that were not appropriate for children, such as brewing beer. This they believed demonstrated the magazine's adult only readership.
Linux Voice magazine stated that they had not received any direct complaints regarding the ad. They stated that the magazine was targeted at IT professionals and adult hobbyists and that its newsstand price was out of reach for children, and that a credit or debit card was required to buy a subscription. They said that there were many outspoken personalities in the Linux community who used such strong language, including its creator, when strong opinions were being expressed.
Linux Voice stated that internet filtering was an issue which many people were very passionate about, hence the use of strong language. They said that the wording was not directed at a person or group, but was a reaction to a policy, reflecting Linux users' opinions that internet filtering was unwanted.
The ASA noted the expletive in the ad was partly obscured but considered the intended meaning was still clear. However, we noted that Andrews and Arnold and Linux Voice stated that the magazine was not targeted at children and considered that, given its pricing and subject matter, which included technical matters and topics that would not be of particular interest to children. It was targeted at IT professionals and adults with an interest in computer software. Therefore, we considered that the magazine in which the ad was published was unlikely to appeal to children and concluded that it's placement was not socially irresponsible.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. (Social Responsibility) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.