A YouTube ad for a single by rapper Bamby H2O, entitled Over It, has been battered by the ad watchdog over a barrage of sex, drugs and expletives which was deemed “likely to seriously offend” for being “gratuitous” and “objectifying women”.
The ad, which ran before a separate playlist was aired, featured scenes of a powdery substance being cut with a razor, a rolled up cigarette being lit and a rolled up bank note being used to consume a powdery substance.
The opening lyrics blasted “Fucked up over you” and “Drugged up at the function slurring all my words!” and one scene included the outline of a woman pulling down her top to reveal her breasts.
The ad also included such choice lyrics as “Shawty wanna fuck with me she gotta feed me first”, “Double D’s I’m drowning in disbelief” and “You chase a bitch” and repeated references to the consumption of drugs throughout.
Bizarrely, the ad triggered just one complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, which challenged whether the spot was offensive and irresponsible because it featured references to drug use and paraphernalia, nudity and explicit language.
Bamby H2O did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries, earning the first rebuke from the watchdog.
In its ruling the regulator considered that viewers of an unrelated music playlist would not expect to be served an ad that featured drug references, nudity and strong language. It concluded that the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause serious and widespread offence and therefore breached the code on both social responsibility and harm and offence).
Ruling that the ad must not appear again in its current form, the ASA warned Bamby H2O to ensure that future ads did not cause serious or widespread offence, and to ensure they were not socially irresponsible.
In a statement, YouTube said: “YouTube ads should be safe and relevant, and we have strict policies against inappropriate, adult and dangerous content that we enforce vigorously.
“We also have a tool where anyone can report these ads, and these complaints are reviewed by our team. In 2020, we removed 3.1 billion bad ads from our platforms and we continue to be strongly committed to a safe and healthy ad ecosystem.”
The full-length video remains on YouTube but now carries a warning saying it “may be inappropriate for some users”.
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