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The Curious Case of Singapore Advertising Watchdog AskingThe Medium To Change The Text On The Ad

Cathay Organisation, owners of Cineleisure, has put up Pink Dot ads on its escalators. To the chagrin of those against Pink Dot contacted Singapore advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), to weigh in the legality of the advertisement.

ASAS responded and reports highlighted that the watchdog asks Cathay Organisation to remove the phrase "Supporting the freedom to love" as it "may affect public sensitivities due to the issues at hand". ASAS did highlight that the rest of advertisement was ok by them.

Read more here.

Isn't it strange for the watchdog to ask the owner the medium rather than the advertisers to make changes to the ad?

Cathay Organisation also felt that the changes should have been directed to the Pink Dot organisers rather they, the medium owner.

“Given that the ownership of the ad belongs to Pink Dot, Cathay is not in the position to decide on the removal of the statement ‘Supporting the freedom to love’ on the advertisement,” a Cathay spokesperson said. The organisation however, stated that it would relay ASAS comments to the organisers of Pink Dot. Meanwhile, it added that it stands by its previous statement to support an all-inclusive society. - via Marketing Interactive

Local writer Ovidia Yu wrote about her phone call to ASAS to ask about their decision on the Pink Dot ad but found her conversation raising more questions.

In 2014, ASAS demanded a tuition agency to stop an "objectionable" but didn't make any comment on POP Club, a monthly magazine from local bookstore giant Popular.

Wrote Today "Assoc Prof Tan said the authority “will be conveying to the advertisers that the advertisement is not acceptable and has to be ceased”. 

Associate Professor Tan Sze Wee is the Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS).

Why isn't ASAS engaging Pink Dot directly with Pink Dot advertisement at Cathay Cineleisure? 


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