The Advertising Regulatory Board recently made a decision in response to consumer complaints regarding a billboard situated on the Cydonia Road bridge above the N3 Highway. Two complainants argued that the word “fkl” displayed on the billboard was crude and offensive, particularly because children could see it.
Upon reviewing the case, the regulator found that the advertiser’s intention was not to offend but rather to use an innovative and attention-grabbing approach to convey a powerful message. The advertiser’s message emphasised the importance of road safety and the need for South Africans to consider their vulnerability while driving.
However, the regulator determined that the word used on the billboard could be harmful or inappropriate for children who might see it, as it did not fit within the generally acceptable lexicon for children. The billboard is located on one of Gauteng’s busiest highways, making it likely that children would be exposed to it.
As a result, the Advertising Regulatory Board ruled in favour of the complainants and ordered the advertiser to either remove or appropriately amend the billboard. The word “fkl” was subsequently changed to “Fear Nothing” on the billboard.
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Photo: Supplied by Bedfordview Edenvale News