Bognor Motors feels the brunt of the Advertising Standards Agency

The offending advert manifested itself as a radio broadcast a person listening to that broadcast would have heard the following: “If you don’t go to Bognor Motors, you must be mental.” The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) held that use of the word “mental” would be offensive to those who are suffering from mental health problems.

The argument submitted by way of defence by Bognor Motors was that the work mental in this context connoted a comical impression and therefore was a non-offensive way in which one would describe a person who did not visit Bognor Motors.

Indeed and furthermore, the Advertising Clearance centre which asserts quality control over adverts on the radio, inter alia agreed with the arguments of Bognor Motors that the word “mental” in this context was not likely to offend.

The ASA however held that the use of the advertisement was likely to offend those who do suffer from a mental health problem, and indeed some of those who chose not to visit Bognor Motors could also be offended.

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