TV Networks and brands occasionally get into a battle that leads to banning of commercials starring the leading celebrities, the latest victim being the effervescent Scarlett Johansson. With her Super Bowl commercial of SodaStream axed, she joins the club of famous celebs which includes Marilyn Monroe with banned controversial content to their credit.
Among the many celebrities who joined Scarlett Johansson are admired celebrities of today and it keeps growing with each passing year.
Beyonce’s “Heat” Too Hot to Handle
Televisions in UK almost melted with the “Heat” that Beyonce generated in the winter of 2010 from the commercial for her new fragrance. It was considered too hot to be banned from daytime television in the UK and considered inappropriate by Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to be viewed by young children.
The statement released by ASA at that mentioned that the extended focus on Beyonce’s slipping dress and partially exposed breasts proved to be excessively provocative. The ad was thereby banned from exhibition before 7:30 p.m. for its sexually provocative imagery and for being unfit for viewing by the feeble intellect of the young in the nation.
Ironically, the makers and Beyonce expected to achieve the exact opposite and the successive video released of the making of the commercial lets you in some of the behind the scene action.
As per the crew, the desire to capture the “Heat” that Beyonce generates and to make women feel empowered was the whole idea of this commercial. Hans Dorsinville, the creative director goes on to explain that the challenge in creating the commercial would be “not to get too hot actually.” Seems ASA gave an “F” to Dorsinville his effort to confirm to the challenge.
Pamela Anderson with Her Sexist Ad
Another commercial which faced the brunt of the British ASA was the 2013 Pamela Anderson ad for Dreamscape Networks. Complaints poured it from viewers who found the commercial offensive, sexist and degrading to women.
Viewers of Great Britain were quickly robbed off an opportunity to see Pamela Anderson in a golden bikini on their television. ASA banned the ad for showcasing women as objects of sexual lust and that it could cause serious offense to viewers with its content.
The commercial was however defended by the web-hosting company being advertised, which was of the opinion that the ad featured the imagination of only one executive. They said that the ad was just over-the-top comical and that it didn’t intend to degrade women in any form.
Eva Mendes Gets to Keep Her Secret
In the club of banned celebrity ads, Scarlett Johansson and Marilyn Monroe are in the fine company of Eva Mendes as well who joined in with her Calvin Klein commercial. The 30-second ad didn’t make the cut in US where it was banned across the networks for being too racy for its viewers. The brief glimpses of her nipples did not help the case much either.
The Calvin Klein commercial for its perfume Secret Obsession had Mendes rolling naked on a bed and whispering “it’s my secret” seductively for the viewers.
Calvin Klein chiefs were unmoved by the controversy though and proudly posted the ad on the official website for everyone to take a peek.
Julia Roberts, This Beauty Needed No Airbrush
Air brushing celebs for beauty products is not a new phenomenon but Maybelline took it to another level with its Eraser foundation. The ads featuring two of the most beautiful women in the industry, Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, were accused of excessive airbrushing and banned by UK’s ASA.
Campaigning against the effect that such digitally enhanced images had on the self-esteem of young girls, Parliament member Jo Swinson spearheaded ASA’s actions in controlling such misleading and airbrushed ads.
Marilyn Monroe’s Coke Time Was Not a Good Time
One celebrity who we just can’t ignore in this list is Marilyn Monroe who with her Coke ad became one of the earliest and the most prominent celebrity to feature in this list.
There is no need to explain why this ad was banned as an invitation to get naked at Monroe’s place would have certainly raised a lot of eyebrows in her own time.
The club which has its earliest member in Marilyn Monroe may have found their latest entrant, Scarlett Johansson. However, she is definitely not its last and in the years to come we can certainly hope to see many more celebrities joining in with their own brand of banned commercials to boost.
By Daris Abraham