Novel ad avoids nipples policy
Kiwi prudishness has complicated the Breast Cancer Foundation’s adaptation of a Scottish advertisement credited with a massive increase in breast cancer awareness in Scotland.
The foundation said it had to find creative ways to get its message across after the Commercial Approvals Bureau told it nipples were not allowed in television advertising.
The foundation had been considering a New Zealand adaptation of the advert made last year for the Scottish Government featuring actress Elaine C Smith.
The Scottish advert highlighted some of the lesser-known symptoms of breast cancer ‘‘beyond a lump’’, and led to a 50 per cent increase in the number of Scottish women consulting their doctor about possible breast cancer symptoms.
Constrained by New Zealand’s ‘‘no nipples’’ ruling, the foundation said it had worked with agency Colenso BBDO to develop The Naked Truth campaign, in which strategically-positioned pot plants, balloons and cupcakes illustrated symptoms such as skin changes, changes in size, and redness.
The campaign will screen throughout October, urging women to report any changes to their doctor and inviting women to visit a new website www.any changes.co.nz, for more education.
‘‘Around half of the breast cancers in New Zealand are first detected through a symptom that the woman notices,’’ foundation chief executive Van Henderson said. ‘‘Yet only 5 per cent of women are aware that puckering or dimpling of the skin can be a symptom, and only 2 per cent know an inverted nipple may mean breast cancer.
‘‘We believe the importance of knowing all the signs and symptoms far outweighs the CAB’s concern, and we wanted women to know exactly what those signs look like.’’
The New Zealand bureau is separate from the Advertising Standards Authority.
It is an industry body with, according to its website, the purpose to ‘‘protect the reputation of broadcasters and minimises compliance risks for advertisers by vetting all television ads before they are broadcast’’.
Bureau general manager Rob Hoar said the bureau gave the foundation the same advice it gave anyone who wanted to show nudity in adverts, which was that the prevailing view was people did not want to be confronted by nudity during primetime television. People also wanted television advertisements to have a higher standard than that required in programming.
The bureau’s rule of thumb was no genitalia and no female nipples, no matter how good the cause, Hoar said.