The radio advertising featured a telephone conversation between a male employee from the King of Paws Dog Training Academy and a female customer making an enquiry.
“King of Paws: Hello King of Paws Dog Training Academy
Customer: Are you able to help my Oscar behave better?
King of Paws: Of course madam. We are Ireland’s largest training centre
Customer: Right. Can I book Oscar in?
King of Paws: And what breed of dog is Oscar?
Customer: He’s not a dog. He’s my husband
Male Voiceover: King of Paws, Dog Training Centre, sadly husbands not accepted. Visit kingofpaws.com for full details.”
One complainant said that he considered the advertisement to be part of a trend where men are belittled, mocked, painted as idiots and in this case compared to dogs. He said that in his opinion the advertisement was sexist, centred around discrimination on gender which was not permitted under Irish law. The second complainant concurred with the first complainant and also said that he did not want his children to have to listen to this type of advertising.
The advertisers acknowledged receipt of ASAI’s correspondence and said that the matter would be discussed at their next marketing planning meeting. Despite the Secretariat reminding them that a response was required, no further communication was received from the advertisers.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and expressed their concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond to the complaint. They reminded them that there was an onus on all advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code. In the absence of a response from the advertisers the Committee upheld the complaint under Section 2.7 of the Code.
The advertising should not be used in its current format again.