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Holy Fuck, what a ruling

By | Published on Monday 4 April 2011

Holy Fuck

This ruling was actually made a couple of weeks ago, but it’s only just come to our attention and it’s funny, so let’s run with it. Promoter Kilimanjaro has been told that it can’t run adverts for Holy Fuck tours in mainstream newspapers that contain the words, erm, Holy Fuck, because, I mean, think what it might do to the children.

The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint about an advert for the Holy Fuck tour after it appeared in the Guardian Guide. The complainant argued that “the ad was offensive and inappropriate for use in a supplement that was likely to be seen by children”.

Responding, Kilimanjaro apologised for any offence caused to the complainant, but said that Holy Fuck was, after all, the band’s name, it was used on lots of other advertising literature without complaint and, perhaps most importantly, The Guardian, which is hardly a kids magazine, frequently uses the word ‘fuck’ uncensored in its editorial, not least when reporting on the band Holy Fuck.

Nevertheless, the ASA upheld the complaint saying that while it “noted that the Guide was targeted at older teens and adults” that “we considered that, because it was placed in an entertainment listings supplement to a national newspaper, the ad was likely to be seen by a wide variety of readers including children. We considered, in that context, that the name ‘HOLYFUCK’ was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to some readers”.

I look forward to meeting a Guardian-reading child who is offended by the word ‘fuck’, but there you go.