SEX, LIES, AND PHOTOSHOP: These Ads Were All Banned In 2012

zombie ad ban

As 2012 comes to a close, it’s time to remember the ads that were deemed too risqué, disingenuous or gratuitous to make it to glossy magazine pages or commercial breaks.

These are the most eyebrow-raising ads that were banned around the world this year. 

They were kicked off the airwaves for everything from showing naked models to promoting dangerous driving to depicting brain-loving zombies to offending elderly dudes with the implication that an “older man does not receive any [sexual] attention due to his age.”

Burger King pulled an ad in which Mary J. Blige rhapsodized over fried chicken.

Burger King was criticised for playing up racial stereotypes in an April ad in which Mary J. Blige sang a love song to 'crispy chicken.'

The ad was pulled almost immediately. Blige told CNN:

'I agreed to be a part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence. Unfortunately, that's not what was happening in that clip, so I understand my fans being upset by what they saw. But, if you're a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw to go out.'

Watch the ad below:

An ad starring an obese man, a little person, and a chainsaw was banned in Australia for discriminating against fat people.

An ad for Compare Travel insurance was banned in by the Ad Standards Bureau in Australia due to complaints that:

'There is a scene where the obese 'RISK' man is lying on top of the traveller covered with a towel and being massaged by an Asian woman who is displaying utter disgust and repulsion towards the obese man and the act of massaging him - this is reinforced by a close up of her fingers on his skin and her face looking repulsed by the same. This image clearly promotes that is somehow acceptable to treat people who are obese different to other people who are not obese and that in fact they are disgusting and repulsive in particular so to touch.'

Watch the ad below:

This Lynx ad was the subject of complaints about racism, sexism, and bad language, but was banned because it hurt old people's feelings.

Lynx's 'clean your balls' ad for body wash was banned in Australia in November. While people complained that it was racist and sexist, the official banning decision said otherwise:

'The Board considered that the older man is depicted in a negative manner with the inference in the advertisement being that the older man does not receive any attention due to his age. The Board considered that this is a negative depiction of an older person and that this depiction does amount to discrimination against older men.'

Watch the spot below:

Popchips pulled a racist ad starring Ashton Kutscher pretending to be an Indian named Raj.

Popchips released a YouTube video in which Ashton Kutcher donned brown face and pretended to be a mock-worthy Indian character named Raj who uses a video-dating service.

Although Kim Kardashian and Patti Stranger tweeted its praises, many other Americans disagreed.

Popchips CEO Keith Belling wrote an apology on his blog: 'our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs. we did not intend to offend anyone. i take full responsibility and apologise to anyone we offended.'

Watch the banned ad below:

Then L'Oreal complained to the ASA about this Photoshopped image of Natalie Portman in a mascara ad for Dior. It was banned in October.

Samsung realised that people don't like ads that depict beating cute puppies.

Samsung made an official spot for a solid state storage drive that sent people reeling.

The spot put cute puppy dog faces on slow computers screens and then depicted 'owners' beating, shooting, and even killing them.

The Viral Factory made the ad, which was quickly pulled.

McDonald's also angered dog-lovers with this pulled radio spot.

Pit bull enthusiasts were outraged when McDonald's ran a radio ad saying that petting a pit bull is more risky than 'trying a brand new menu item at McDonald's.' The spot was yanked days later after playing in Kansas City in February.

A McDonald's spokesperson said,'The ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We apologise. As soon as we learned of it, we tracked the source and had the local markets pull the ad immediately. We'll do a better job next time. It's never our intent to offend anyone with how we communicate news about McDonald's.'

Listen to the radio

Norway banned this zombie ad from primetime television in November.

The spot was for Norwegian sporting goods store XXL.

Critics immediately took to the company's Facebook page and bashed the ad for being 'stupid and provocative.'

Although the ad was shown in Norway, it was shot by Storm Studios in Miami.

Watch it below:

441 Brits complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the ad, which shows a doctor booking a vacation while doing brain surgery (then high-fiving his patient when he gets a good deal).

An undisclosed number found it offensive, 25 thought it would be too scary for children, and 16 thought it gave nurses and doctors a bad name.

Kayak disagreed with the U.K. ban, saying that the ad, made by Barton F. Graf 9000 and director Harold Einstein, was 'so obviously a parody that it was not offensive.'

Watch below:

Even cereal isn't safe. The ASA banned a Special K ad that claimed a bowl of cereal only had 114 calories — which isn't true once you factor in the milk. Kellogg's argument that some people like dry cereal didn't fly.

This fish and chips ad was banned in South Africa for mocking the president's many wives, children, and scandals two hours before it was supposed to air.

This soda stream ad was banned in November because it's too mean to other soda companies.

The ad showed that every time someone pushes down on the SodaStream, which turns flat water into sparkling water in seconds, Coke, Pepsi, and other competitors' bottles exploded.

But the ban backfired. Since it was kicked off the U.K. airwaves by Clearcast (a broadcast regulatory body), it has gone viral and will be turned into a U.S. Super Bowl spot.

Watch the ad below:

The desperate-for-headlines site issued a press release that the ad was banned by Fox. In reality, the company probably couldn't afford the $3.5 million price tag.

According to Ashley Madison, 'The ad stars America's Next Top Model winner and plus-sized model Whitney Thompson. She believes they rejected the commercial because it features bigger women and not the skinnier accepted norm.'

Watch the spot below:

Not all of these companies have ads that were banned ...

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