Does a TV commercial for the Jeep Compass go in the right direction, or does it lead viewers down a road that should remain less traveled? That’s the question recently addressed by the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau, which had to decide whether to pull an ad featuring a dog, or let it keep airing on prime-time TV. And that’s the question we’re asking you in today’s Let’s Talk.
Some viewers think the TV ad goes way too far with its reference to bestiality, even under the guise of humor. Others see it as a cute tale of a clever dog figuring how to pry apart a woman and her beau so she can get back to her one-on-one time with the woman.
It starts out innocently enough, showing the bond a woman has with her border collie/Australian sheepdog. Then a man comes into the woman’s life and disrupts the bond a bit. It ends with the woman “catching” the dog in bed sitting next to the owner’s surprised-looking beau. The dog has dressed herself in her owner’s lingerie to make the woman think her beau has done something very wrong with the dog. In the final scene, it’s clear that the woman has shed the man, and is back to her usual relationship with the dog.
Here, you can check it out for yourself. It’s only a minute long.
A complaint to the bureau called the commercial ”highly inappropriate and incredibly offensive” because it included ”a reference to bestiality in primetime TV hours.
”Nothing actually takes place between the dog and the boyfriend, but having to explain to a young person why the dog is dressed in her red corset and why she then gets rid of the boyfriend is something which should not happen as a result of watching a show as harmless as Antiques Roadshow,” the complaint reads, according to the Fraser Coast Chronicle. (I love this part of the quote. You can’t make up this kind of stuff.)
The complaint that the ad suggests ”the man has had a sexual encounter with the dog” appears to have been taken pretty seriously. But in the end, the bureau decided the commercial can stay on the air, because it ”considered that the mild implication of something inappropriate between the dog and the man is overridden by the humour of the advertisement and the fact that viewers are aware of what the dog has done.”
What do you think? Was the complaint from someone far too sensitive, or do you think the ad’s implications are just too creepy for prime time — or any time?