You can't say 'kak' or 'koek' while kids may be watching, ad regulator rules against Pudo
- South Africa's advertising watchdog has barred Courier Guy from airing some of its ads during family viewing times, because they use the words such as "kak" and "koek".
- While the regulator found that undeniable sexual innuendo in the ads, it was more concerned by the use of "kak", which means "shit" in Afrikaans.
- The same company landed itself in trouble last year when it aired a controversial advert that used the word "doos", a vulgar reference to vagina as well as a shipping box.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
South Africa's ad regulator has barred Courier Guy from airing five of its PUDO ads while children may be watching, because they contain the words "kak" and "koek".
In a recent complaint, the adverts were blasted for using foul language, and references to sex, during family viewing time.
South Africa's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB), explicitly ordered Courier Guy only to air its Pudo adverts during watershed periods, or between 21:00 and 05:00, when they are unlikely to reach children.
Courier Guy denied any innuendo or vulgarity in its response, saying that the complainant's interpretation was based on their perspective and not its intended messaging.
But the innuendoes are palpable and undeniable, the ARB said.
All five adverts also feature a payoff line; "Sending stuff can be a bit kak, but with Pudo, it's kak easy!"), which formed part of the ARB's reasons for the sanction against Courier Guy, Pudo's parent company.
It's not the first time Pudo, the courier service that allows customers to send and receive parcels from designated lockers, has landed in trouble for its adverts.
In August last year, its commercial featuring the word "doos", (an Afrikaans vulgar slang word meaning vagina, as well as a standard reference to a shipping box) was barred from being aired in family viewing times. At the time, the ARB said parents would not want their kids to make use of the word. The ARB used that ruling to guide its decision in the latest ads.
In the first advert, a couple is seen in a bedroom, and they are dressed in leather clothing and masks. A whip is seen on the floor, and the man's hand is handcuffed to a bed while the woman handcuffs the other hand, just as a Pudo package arrives, prompted by the ringing doorbell.
In its ruling, the advertising regulator said the presence of the sexual innuendo did not warrant the removal of the commercial. It said the couple did not behave in a way that would cause offence or harm children because they were neither fondling one another nor engaged in a passionate embrace.
In another of the adverts, a Pudo deliveryman arrives at a door to collect a parcel and rings the doorbell. A female voice answers from inside, "One second please, I'm just busy with my koek". When the door is eventually opened, the deliveryman notices a table full of boxed cakes and then remarks, "Oh, koek" as he walks away.
In this ad, Courier Guy denied sexual innuendo and said the "koek" commercial merely references a person baking cakes while mixing her languages.
In contrast, the regulator said adults are likely to realise that the pun is intended to be tongue in cheek, given that the female character is baking cakes and said even kids understood it, it would not cause harm to them.
According to the Afrikaans dictionary, koek is an obscene reference to female genitalia.
"This, coupled with the background noises and her exclamation "... I'm coming!" plays on the notion of masturbation."
In a separate ad, a lady receives a package from "adulttoybox.com" while she is at the office; she then says, "getting stuff delivered to work can be a bit kak", and is then seen in a different scene collecting a similar package from a locker. She then says, "with Pudo, it's kak easy," and the scene closes with the delivery box vibrating.
In its argument, Courier Guy said the vibrating delivery is never referenced as a vibrator.
It is disingenuous to deny the innuendo in this ad as it leads the viewer to conclude that the content of the package is an adult toy, the ad regulator said.
"In a society based on dignity, equality, and freedom, it would be unreasonable to order the withdrawal of this commercial based only on the fact that some viewers find its content discomforting," the regulator said.
It said children who can make sense of the ad are not likely to be adversely affected, and those who can't spot the innuendo would not be harmed by the commercial.
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