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"Tyrant" German Radio Ad Banned In UK 37

Posted by samzenpus
from the deutschland-uber-alles dept.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a radio commercial for implying Germans are tyrants. The advertisement for a Reed recruitment website features an angry boss speaking in German. The ASA says: "We noted the ad used a German speaker, rather than someone speaking English, to portray the boss as 'a bit of a tyrant' and the humour derived from a stereotype at the expense of German people. We considered that the portrayal suggested that German people were more likely to be unreasonable or aggressive to others. We concluded that, given the extreme reaction and aggressive tone of the German-speaking boss, the ad reinforced a negative and outdated cultural stereotype of German people as overpowering and tyrannical and therefore the ad had the potential to cause serious offence to some listeners."

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"Tyrant" German Radio Ad Banned In UK

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  • Radio commercials should only be regulated for false advertising, defamation, copyright infringement and stuff like that. "Causing serious offense to some listeners" is exactly the kind of speech that freedom of speech laws are intended to protect.

    • Defamation theory (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      Radio commercials should only be regulated for false advertising, defamation, copyright infringement and stuff like that.

      Libel law in England restricts speech more than libel law in the United States. In this case, this banned advert might be defamatory against German people. Let's see: the claim is 1. negative against a group of people, 2. false, and 3. intentional.

      • Can't libel a generic group.

        Note that group != organisation in this context.

        • Can't libel a generic group.

          You can under laws against speech intended to induce hateful violence. Why do they call old unfounded accusations about Jewish people [wikipedia.org] "blood libels" now?

          Note that group != organisation in this context.

          A country is an organization. It has a board of directors (the legislature), a management (the government), an application process (be born on the soil or naturalized), and a process for promotion to management (elections).

          • That's an old usage of the word. It isn't the legal definition of libel. Guess which definition the law uses.

            As for the rest, mindless pedantry. When you can come up with a precedent whenere a country has brought and won a libel case under English law then come back.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Not to mention this isn't about the German people, it is about the language. I just love listening to Rammstein, but it still often sounds like "We will invade Poland!" because the German language just have a rough sound to it for non German speakers. Just like a lot of French to me sounds like they are talking sex, simply because of the smooth tones of the language.

          So I would say it isn't about the people but the sounds of their language. To me it is just "coarser" sounding than many other European langu

    • Or more pithily, they responded to insinuations of tyranny with actual tyranny, just in case somebody got the 'wrong idea'.
    • What about all the references to Belgium people be really bad people in the UK, they say it all fo the time and there is no one complaining....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Of course the original ASA response read, "Ve noted zat a german akcent ist nicht funny. Zey are not tyrants. You vill do as ve tell you und not run ze ad! Our vord ist final!!!"
  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @05:50PM (#30852192)

    Don't mention the war.

    • Traurig zu sagen, aber Deutsch ist ein unheimlich klingende Sprache! Sie könnten Rezitation eines sonet über Tulpen und kommen aus, als wärst du über jemanden getroffen! Verwendung, die für humoristische Wirkung scheint harmlos auf mich! Hat England haben jede Art der freien Rede könnte dies durch Gesetz geschützt werden!
  • In Cuba (Score:3, Funny)

    by XB-70 (812342) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @06:39PM (#30853098)
    While at an all-inclusive resort in Cuba, our vacationing Teutonic friends arrived at dinner in virtual lock-step precisely at 6:00 PM. Orders were barked. The group split into sub-groups, some of whom reconnoitred the dining hall, spread out and 'claimed' tables. The rest proceeded to elbow their way to the front of every line, heap their plates with EVERYTHING and marched off leaving us in a state of shock and awe while the serving staff frantically tried to re-populate the buffet.

    But, apart from that, I think that the Brits are out of line with this ad.

    • Of course that was only possible because there were no friendly, polite, unobtrusive, and culturally aware and respectful American tourists there.

      • by XB-70 (812342)
        I respecfully take offence to the fact that you ommitted 'considerate' and 'affable' in your description of our American Cousins.
      • The "in Cuba" bit has something to do with the lack of American tourists bit. Pedantic yes, but I couldn't help myself.
  • So... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "the ad reinforced a negative and outdated cultural stereotype of German people".
    So it would have been alright if it were done many years ago when they were tyrannical?
  • If you think Germans are a pain, wait until you share a ski resort with a group of East-Europeans. Seriously, ask anybody who's been to Austria.
    • by Zagnar (722415)
      As an American, I've visited only two countries, those closest to me. I've found that people as a whole are mostly decent, no matter their country. Though those in the tourism industry often are unpleasant, while wearing masks of politeness.
  • This kind of story is a bit boring without a link to the video in question...

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