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View Full Version : Anti-terrorist hotline ad banned for being 'offensive'


Mad Tony
11-08-10, 00:14
You're probably expecting me to rant about how there was no need to ban this ad but in actual fact I'm glad that it has been banned.

A radio advert urging listeners to report suspected terrorists has been banned by a watchdog for potentially offending law-abiding people.

The anti-terrorist hotline ad lists "suspicious" behaviour to look out for from quiet neighbours such as paying by cash and keeping curtains drawn.
It then says: "This may mean nothing but together it could all add up to you having suspicions."

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled it could cause "serious offence".
Some 18 listeners who heard the advert, broadcast on Talksport, complained to the watchdog.

Of those, 10 said it could be offensive to law-abiding citizens, while the rest said it could encourage people to harass or victimise their neighbours and was appealing to people's fear.

In the advert, a man says: "The man at the end of the street doesn't talk to his neighbours much, because he likes to keep himself to himself.
"He pays with cash because he doesn't have a bank card, and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route."

It then says: "If you suspect it, report it."

The campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) was aimed at promoting the confidential anti-terrorist hotline.

The Metropolitan Police, speaking on Acpo's behalf, said the ad addressed the issue of terrorists living within communities "and sometimes what appeared to be an insignificant behaviour could potentially be linked to terrorist activities".

It said the behaviour mentioned was based on trends identified by the police and evidence given in court.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10929203

Pretty ridiculous ad if you ask me.

Ward Dragon
11-08-10, 00:37
Yeah, that is indeed ridiculous. The behaviors they list are so vague that I'm sure they'd get flooded with reports on innocent people, which would simultaneously put the innocent people through unnecessary stress and distract the police from the real terrorists. I'm sure if anyone notices someone smuggling weapons they'll report it anyway, with or without the advertisement.

Edit: Or rather, thinking back on some disturbing cases where people stood by and watched, I should have said that the ad would not affect whether people would report it.

patriots88888
11-08-10, 00:45
Paranoia much? LOL!

Ward Dragon
11-08-10, 00:46
Paranoia much? LOL!

Next they'll be telling kids to report on their parents :whi:

Alpharaider47
11-08-10, 00:46
Next they'll be telling kids to report on their parents :whi:

You know that sounds vaguely familiar from something I read once... 1984 was it? I can't remember :o

Ward Dragon
11-08-10, 00:50
You know that sounds vaguely familiar from something I read once... 1984 was it? I can't remember :o

Yeah, and pretty much every other scenario with a harsh all-powerful government :p

Mad Tony
11-08-10, 00:51
I thought it would take longer than this for people to start bringing in the 1984 references. :p Come on, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Ward Dragon
11-08-10, 00:52
I thought it would take longer than this for people to start bringing in the 1984 references. :p Come on, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Ahead? They're already telling you to spy on your neighbors and report them if you can't see what they're doing every minute of the day. Where else is this going? :p

Alpharaider47
11-08-10, 00:52
Yeah, and pretty much every other scenario with a harsh all-powerful government :p
You've got a point there
I thought it would take longer than this for people to start bringing in the 1984 references. :p Come on, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Hey now, I only brought it up because Ward Dragon's post reminded me :p

aktrekker
11-08-10, 00:56
It's McCarthy all over again.

History does repeat itself.

Alpharaider47
11-08-10, 01:01
It's McCarthy all over again.

History does repeat itself.

Now that made me lol :p

ajrich17901
11-08-10, 01:21
Yeah, that is indeed ridiculous. The behaviors they list are so vague that I'm sure they'd get flooded with reports on innocent people, which would simultaneously put the innocent people through unnecessary stress and distract the police from the real terrorists. I'm sure if anyone notices someone smuggling weapons they'll report it anyway, with or without the advertisement.


Try calling over to your best friend in the Uk from the USA and getting accused of being a terrorist, that was interesting >.<

Ward Dragon
11-08-10, 01:31
Try calling over to your best friend in the Uk from the USA and getting accused of being a terrorist, that was interesting >.<

How did that happen? O_O I'm wondering what words you said that triggered their automated spy thingie so that I can avoid saying it XD But yeah, it seems like some of these measures are a bit much all around.

ajrich17901
11-08-10, 02:28
How did that happen? O_O I'm wondering what words you said that triggered their automated spy thingie so that I can avoid saying it XD But yeah, it seems like some of these measures are a bit much all around.

The only thing I can think that may have triggered it was us talking about us meeting up, him either coming here or me going there. Other than that it was normal chatting, so I got a $40 phone bill for 1 conversation and got accused of being a terrorist, it was a lovely christmas lmao. And your right they really are a bit much.

just croft
11-08-10, 02:31
I thought it would take longer than this for people to start bringing in the 1984 references. :p Come on, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Sush! The Big Brother is watching! :p

Actually 1984 was the first thing I though after, "omg Mad Tony isn't ranting at this!"

I'm just surprised this happened in Europe.

Uzi master
11-08-10, 03:06
This isn't Mad Tony! it must be Happy Tony, Mad tony's err, good twin!:p

Alpharaider47
11-08-10, 03:07
This isn't Mad Tony! it must be Happy Tony, Mad tony's err, good twin!:p

Let's just call him Sane Tony :p
Here's my opinion of the excerpt from the article-
Hmm what if the guy at the end of the street is just a hermit? I agree it seems like that's going a bit far, and is quite vague. I actually prefer to pay with cash myself :o

Drone
11-08-10, 04:23
I rememeber I've read similar thing in Deus Ex. I'm not kidding btw.

scoopy_loopy
11-08-10, 04:48
We have adverts like this on the television; although I don't think they go as far as to suggest closed curtains and paying by cash could be related to terrorism...

Drone
11-08-10, 05:04
I think they should include sunglasses aswel :p

Dark Lugia 2
11-08-10, 08:07
"If you suspect it, report it." Erm, what year are we in again? A hotline wanting Britain to become a nation of spies, pah. Glad its been banned.

Mad Tony
11-08-10, 10:18
Ahead? They're already telling you to spy on your neighbors and report them if you can't see what they're doing every minute of the day. Where else is this going? :pIt's just one radio ad (which has been banned). I don't think the general population are living in fear and paranoia.

This isn't Mad Tony! it must be Happy Tony, Mad tony's err, good twin!:pReporting something like this makes me happy? :confused:

lunavixen
11-08-10, 11:34
The anti-terrorist hotline ad lists "suspicious" behaviour to look out for from quiet neighbours such as paying by cash and keeping curtains drawn.
It then says: "This may mean nothing but together it could all add up to you having suspicions." this is bad? half the people in my town do this

In the advert, a man says: "The man at the end of the street doesn't talk to his neighbours much, because he likes to keep himself to himself.
"He pays with cash because he doesn't have a bank card, and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route."i'm the same, i'm not a social person, i hate using my bankcard excessively, besides there are plenty of shops here that don't have eftpos and i keep my curtains closed because i like the dark and i cop the sun in any number of windows at any time in the day, it's just easier to keep all the curtains shut and i too am right next to a bus route... not fun at 4 in the morning...

such a shame there isn't an offence called 'criminal stupidity' because this qualifies

jackles
11-08-10, 11:37
OMG that is me....



Pays with cash...*nods* hey not of all us want to use credit all the time!
Curtains drawn...*nods* better for game playing I find.
Keeps myself to myself...*nods* well yeah..... and???



*looks suspiciously through letter box*

Cochrane
11-08-10, 12:06
Someone should report me then. I also take lots of pictures of public transportation, in particular trains. Maybe I am planning something evil?

If the goal of terrorists is to take away peopleís freedoms, then it seems as if measures like this would help them.

Legends
11-08-10, 12:10
Why they hell would they ban that add? Oh, it might hurt the terrorists feelings. Can't have any of that, now can we? Stupid! :hea:

Mad Tony
11-08-10, 12:22
Why they hell would they ban that add? Oh, it might hurt the terrorists feelings. Can't have any of that, now can we? Stupid! :hea:Did you not read the actual article? :confused:

knightgames
11-08-10, 12:25
OMG that is me....



Pays with cash...*nods* hey not of all us want to use credit all the time!
Curtains drawn...*nods* better for game playing I find.
Keeps myself to myself...*nods* well yeah..... and???



*looks suspiciously through letter box*

I always wondered about that avatar, jackles. :tea:

Cochrane
11-08-10, 12:30
Why they hell would they ban that add? Oh, it might hurt the terrorists feelings. Can't have any of that, now can we? Stupid! :hea:

Itís not about the feelings of terrorists. Itís about the feelings of normal people who keep to themselves, pay with cash and keep their windows drawn but are not terrorists. As it turns out, most people who do that arenít terrorists or other criminals. This ad is not only saying that they all might be, it is also asking other people to report them to the police for nothing but those things, something many would consider harassing.

Rai
11-08-10, 14:46
OMG that is me....



Pays with cash...*nods* hey not of all us want to use credit all the time!
Curtains drawn...*nods* better for game playing I find.
Keeps myself to myself...*nods* well yeah..... and???



*looks suspiciously through letter box*

:vlol: Same here.

TRF might think we're in cahoots or something. :pi:

What an ad full of paranoia. Glad it's banned.

Super Badnik
11-08-10, 16:43
A new woman moved into the close the other month. She is rarely seen, only when walking her dog from and to the house and I think her curtains are closed! :eek:
*Nervously reaches for the phone*

interstellardave
11-08-10, 17:23
LOL... I don't always pay cash but I do those other things. Me and the wife stay in the house a lot, and we keep the curtains/blinds shut usually. Plus, if you look for it, you could spot me often peeking outside--but it's only to see what my douchebag neighbor is up to! I don't expect him of anything sinister, though, he's just an ass who is often a major inconvenience to us!

Draco
11-08-10, 18:06
McCarthy, is that you?

Alive_and_Funky
11-08-10, 18:10
That anti-terrorist hotline reminds me of something satirical that I read while playing Deus Ex, which listed different kinds of suspicious activity to look out for. :p

You're probably expecting me to rant about how there was no need to ban this ad
I was actually expecting that. :p

interstellardave
11-08-10, 18:50
You're probably expecting me to rant about how there was no need to ban this ad but in actual fact I'm glad that it has been banned.

LOL, you have an accurate assessment of the impression you make on people! You're right, I fully expected you to defend the ad to some degree, at least.

I'm very pleased that you didn't. :)

Mad Tony
11-08-10, 19:08
LOL, you have an accurate assessment of the impression you make on people! You're right, I fully expected you to defend the ad to some degree, at least.

I'm very pleased that you didn't. :)I would never defend an ad like this. Originally I assumed when I saw the headline that it featured an actor playing a terrorist and that actor had dark skin and thus people complained because they found it offensive, or something like that.

I hate adverts being banned because of political correctness, not because of stuff like this.

Ward Dragon
11-08-10, 19:49
It's just one radio ad (which has been banned). I don't think the general population are living in fear and paranoia.

Sorry, I meant where else was the ad going with that line of reasoning? I wasn't referring to the country. It's good that the ad was banned and people are keeping a check on overly zealous stuff like that which ends up hurting innocent people rather than actual criminals.

interstellardave
11-08-10, 19:56
I would never defend an ad like this. Originally I assumed when I saw the headline that it featured an actor playing a terrorist and that actor had dark skin and thus people complained because they found it offensive, or something like that.

I hate adverts being banned because of political correctness, not because of stuff like this.

I also assumed, before I read it, that it was an ad that was politically incorrect. This is just something that is way over the line in what they are proposing... they are almost trying to promote fear and paranoia with "advice" like this!


EDIT: This topic reminds me of this classic comedy; I STRONGLY recommend that anyone who hasn't seen it before, rent it soon!

http://content.imagesocket.com/images/The_Burbs_frontc87.jpg

Goose
12-08-10, 07:31
I agree with advertisements, theres a great one i remember from Northern Ireland:
pAp7MHpaiaQ

It struck a cord with people on both sides there, and i think the same could work here. But the advice given there was to vague, and sounds more like a tax evader/fraudster then a terrorist. Im sure they could make a more appropriate add, but of course so far its only Irish and arab/pakistani types who have tried, or succeeded in causing terror in this country recently, so the PC brigade would be right on top of that if an add was made.

Super Badnik
12-08-10, 11:32
I agree with advertisements, theres a great one i remember from Northern Ireland:
pAp7MHpaiaQThat seems a little bit of an exaggeration of the Troubles, the bit where he gunned down the man at close range in front of his kid with an uzi seems a little over the top. Maybe I'm just being naive. Anyway, it gets across a very real message about the terrorism in Northern Ireland.

Legends
12-08-10, 11:40
Did you not read the actual article? :confused:

No, actually. :o I did now though. When I first saw the title and took a shot. :vlol:

Itís not about the feelings of terrorists. Itís about the feelings of normal people who keep to themselves, pay with cash and keep their windows drawn but are not terrorists. As it turns out, most people who do that arenít terrorists or other criminals. This ad is not only saying that they all might be, it is also asking other people to report them to the police for nothing but those things, something many would consider harassing.
Yes, I know that now. :p

coolaideonfire
12-08-10, 15:50
I suppose I better open my curtains then, ignore the fact I was taking a nap.