Tag: Typo

By Nico Gous for TimesLive

OMFG! This abbreviation‚ used in a cheeky advertisement for “sparkle pens” that could appeal to children‚ was not a mistake.

In fact it was used intentionally by stationary and gift shop Typo‚ in an advertisement emailed to customers that was regarded‚ by some people‚ as vulgar and insensitive.

The advert was the subject of a recent complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Katharine Marsden and Sally Cruickshanks argued that OMFG (which stands for “Oh my f**king God” – an expression of surprise) was vulgar‚ insensitive‚ inappropriate and offensive to all religions. They added that children liked Typo stores and should not be exposed to this language.

But Typo disagreed and told the ASA: “It is definitely not its intention to offend. It is intended to be fun‚ in jest and perhaps a little cheeky.”

The advertisement stated‚ among other things: “Spend R400 and receive a free sparkle ballpoint pen.” It also featured a model who appeared to be astonished by the offer‚ accompanied by a speech bubble containing the offending acronym.

In its ruling the ASA noted that “the product in question is one that appeals to children – a sparkle pen – and the execution is one that would be attractive to children‚ the material is in an email that is sent to Typo customers‚ who are identified as aged 18 to 35. A child who could be harmed by expletives should not have unchecked access to email and should not be subscribed to a retail mailing list.”

The ASA was unanimous that the use of “f**k” or “f**king” would have been offensive and inappropriate for children‚ but has previously dismissed complaints about use of “OMG” (Oh My God).

A minority in the ASA felt that OMFG was offensive because it was different to euphemisms for the four-letter expletive such as “effing” or “frecking” and the religious connotation made it worse.

The majority ruled “by a narrow margin” that it was similar to euphemisms and inoffensive to adults.

The complaint was dismissed.

Popular stationery brand Typo has been slammed for selling products containing swear words which are marketed to young people.

The company, owned by Cotton On, is renowned for its colourful and quirky products but has come under fire from some disgusted shoppers.

For example a pencil case featuring the slogan “Shut the f*** up about your stupid diet” is sold in store alongside a candle labelled “Zero f***s” or a cushion which reads “S**t just got magical”.

Some customers took to Facebook to air their disgust in the products.

“As a loyal customer of your brand I was disgusted to find some of your current products (aimed at children) to contain such inappropriate language. By no means a prude, I am deeply offended that you would use this kind of language on your products. Seriously considering deleting your brand from my children’s Christmas gift list!” one shopper wrote.

Another was shocked that such items were on full display to children.

Cotton On has argued that its target audience falls either side of the 18 to 35 age bracket and that it uses censorship stickers where necessary.

“Whilst some of our products are more irreverent than others, we do appreciate that as a gift retailer, our customers fall either side of our target audience of 18-35 so where relevant we use censor stickers on products not appropriate for a younger audience,” the company said in a statement.

“The product in question should have been censored and we are taking steps to ensure this takes place immediately.

“We’ll also make any necessary changes to our product displays to make certain they are less prominent within the store.”

Source: www.tenplay.com.au

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