Advertising Agency in Brisbane? Check Out What Happens When Mad Men Go Bad

Advertising Agency in Brisbane?

Check Out What Happens When Mad Men Go Bad

The world is buzzing with advertisements and it can be challenging to stand out. Unfortunately, in a desperate effort to grab attention, some companies turn to risky and insensitive marketing techniques. What might seem catchy or funny to some can result in seriously negative backlash for a brand. Is it worth the risk? Check out some of these advertising agency clangers!

Advertising agencies who got it wrong

The Volley Australia F**K OFF Billboard

Australian Volley F**K Off Billboard

Volley Australia took a huge risk using obscene language on their billboard posters, arguing that they were targeting an older audience where the f word is commonly used. But their advertising campaign was quickly squashed by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) for breaching section 2.5 of the Advertiser Code of Ethics. Not only was the explicit phrase used on posters, but it can be seen on shoes and apparel in the video (below). The video also depicts a person raising their middle finger.

Although Volley Australia feel they have targeted their ideal audience of 20-35-year-old men and women with this campaign, it’s naive to think that this advertising campaign won’t reach younger and more impressionable people outside this demographic. This is the perfect example of where all angles and perspectives should have been considered beyond the target audience. Profanity isn’t necessary to target this type of audience, but clever advertising is.

Volley Australian Campaign Video

Youfoodz Un-forkin Believable Television Ad


In 2017, this television ad featured a young boy explaining how quick and easy YouFoodz products are to prepare before saying that he finds the freshness of Youfoodz meals ‘unforkin-believable’. This ad came in at number two on the most complained about ads of 2017.

Complainants weren’t happy about the obvious word replacement and felt that it was inappropriate to be aired during family timeslots. The ad was found to be in breach of Section 2.5 of the Code and Youfoodz agreed to modify the ad. The modified ad bleeped out the ‘forkin’ word, however, the new version of the ad ended up receiving more complaints than the initial ad for the same reasons.

The play on words used in the Youfoodz ad is a huge risk for their brand, particularly when it comes to using children in advertisements. If you’re using youngsters in your advertising campaign, avoiding potty mouth language is probably wise!

Youfoodz un-forkin believable Video

Jim Beam ‘Pay Rise’ Radio Ad


The 30-second radio ad’s goal was to promote the chance to win a ‘pay rise’ on specially marked packs. The ad went on to feature a young man who tries to impress his boss with various compliments and promises. However, where this radio ad goes sour is when he asks to date his boss’s daughter – ‘the bigger one, the one with a limp and a bung eye.’

The ad tried to play to the humour of Jim Beam’s target demographic, but in doing so, it was to the detriment of people with a disability. The ad negatively depicts people with a disability and discriminates against them because of it. Cleverly targeting a niche audience is one thing, offending a minority is another.

Not only does a bad ad send money down the drain, but it’s also a quick way to get into legal hot water and to lose a once-loyal customer base. How do you avoid a failed advertising campaign? Engage an advertising agency in Brisbane like ADFX for your campaign; we know the Ad Standards back to front and use smart and creative tactics that people will remember, not careless ones that will have people remembering for all the wrong reasons.

Looking for an advertising agency?

Brisbane specialists ADFX are a full-service agency that understands market trends.

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