ADELAIDE, Mon May 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) in Australia has banned billboards that read “The casualty list of every abortion: 1 dead, 1 wounded.”

The billboard campaign was produced by HowGoodIsThat.org. In a a YouTube video clip explaining its ‘casualty list’ campaign, the organization describes abortion as a “holocaust against the next generation of Australians.”

After receiving complaints, the ASB found the billboard to be “contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety and did breach section 2.6 of the Code.”

Section 2.6 of the Code states, “Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety.”

The ASB wrote in its decision, “The Board considered that the advertisement’s statement ‘one dead, one wounded’, regardless of truth, treats the issue of abortion in a sensationalized and insensitive manner, and that, in the Board’s view it is inappropriate to promote such a message on a medium which is able to be viewed by all sections of the community whether they wish to see it or not.”

The Board also noted, however, “that sensationalisation of a topic is not an issue covered by the Code.”

Complaints about another pro-life billboard by HowGoodIsThat.org, however, were dismissed by the ASB. That billboard, featuring text which reads, “Abortion. Your taxes at work in the community. www.howgoodisthat.org,” was judged to be within prevailing “Community Standards.”

The board noted the complainants’ concern that the advertisement was offensive as it implies it is wrong that taxes contribute to the cost of abortions, but decided that the text of the ad “is open to interpretation regarding whether it is a positive or negative message that taxes contribute towards the cost of abortions, and that a political message about how taxes are spent does not of itself breach the Code.”

Supporters of the pro-life billboard have pointed out that the Australian ASB seems to have looser standards when it comes to advertisements promoting euthanasia.

On November 26th of last year, the ASB said that an advertising campaign by euthanasia and assisted suicide advocacy group Exit International, whose billboards read “85% of Australians Support Voluntary Euthanasia. Our Government Doesn’t! Make them Listen,” was “not encouraging or condoning suicide, rather it is encouraging the lobbying of Government on the issue of euthanasia.”

The ASB dismissed complaints that the Exit billboard was misleading, or would “put pressure on the ill and elderly to kill themselves so as not to be a burden on others,” saying that the advertisement did not breach section 2.6 of the Code in that it did not depict ‘material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety.’

With regard to the truth of the ad, the ASB determined that “the truth and accuracy of the quoted statistics is not within section 2 of the Code, and is therefore an issue which the Board cannot consider when making its determination.”

The full texts of the ASB decisions mentioned in this article are available here, here, and here.

Contact Info:

The Australian Advertising Standards Bureau
Level 2
97 Northbourne Avenue
TURNER ACT 2612
Tel: (02) 6173 1500
Fax: (02) 6262 9833
Email: administration@adstandards.com.au

To contact How Good Is That, visit their website here. (http://www.howgoodisthat.org/)

The YouTube ‘casualty list’ video is available here. (http://www.howgoodisthat.org/home/2-billboard-6)