Holy Fuck – shock horror – Holy Fuck’s name might offend!

May 2011

Live events industry

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA, and twice mentioned this month!) have ruled that live events promoter Kilimanjaro cannot run adverts for Holy Fuck tours in mainstream newspapers that contain the band’s name. The ASA received a complaint about an advert for the Holy Fuck tour after it appeared in the Guardian Guide which argued that “the ad was offensive and inappropriate for use in a supplement that was likely to be seen by children”.  Kilimanjaro apologised for any offence caused to the complainant, but made it clear that as the band’s name was Holy Fuck it was used on lots of other advertising literature without complaint and, indeed, the word fuck itself is used in mainstream press (indeed at the time of writing, on national TV courtesy of Wayne Rooney). However the ASA upheld the complaint saying that whilst it noted “that the Guide was targeted at older teens and adults” that “we considered that, because it was placed in an entertainment listings supplement to a national newspaper, the ad was likely to be seen by a wide variety of readers including children. We considered, in that context, that the name Holy Fuck was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to some readers”.

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