How do you know if your advertising breeches societies moral standards? A good example of going too far is Sydney’s Home Nightclub who produced a promotional video of a figure supposedly snorting a powdery substance, and other images of males ejaculating on a female anime character. The advertising was certainly polarising, which if you’ve been reading our articles is the methodology we recommend, but there is a limit, and knowing this limit is important. The truth is, promoting sex and illegal activities is a very dangerous line to cross, yes it’s attractive to a certain segment of society, but it comes with a huge degree of risk. We’re not going to tell you how to advertise, but we do want you to think about the consequences of your advertising and the risks therein.
In the case of Home Nightclub, their advertising was deemed as “not in the public interest”, which under The Liquor Act 2007 allows regulators impose fines based on moral reasons. OLGR guidelines state that this includes promotions that “use images or messages which could be seen to be encouraging or condoning breaking the law or other anti-social behaviour”, or that “allude to drug taking behaviour”. Simply explained, the discretionary powers of the regulators means any event you’ve invested in could be torpedoed in seconds if they believe you have crossed the moral threshold. Without trial, regulators can remove advertising and impose substantial fines. It’s a very dangerous market to play in.
How do you stay ahead of the law?
Know the risks and still want to play on the fringes? What you need to know is that it’s a subjective measure, and the OLGR have subjective power. You will never know if you are at risk or not. On one hand, society is becoming loser with its moral objections, on the other, you never know which representative of the regulators is going to view your campaign. We recommend the ‘ask your mum’ strategy, meaning unless it gets mum’s approval, just avoid it.