Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

Media News

Ofcom clears UK's first abortion advert

By
Ofcom logo
Ofcom has today cleared the UK's first television advert for advice on abortion services after rejecting complaints about its "political" nature.

Last month, the Advertising Standards Authority dismissed over 4,000 complaints about an ad run for sexual health charity Marie Stopes International.

Aired on Channel 4 between May 24 and June 24, the ad featured three women who had missed their period, as a voiceover pointed them to MSI for pregnancy advice.

The ad attracted thousands of complaints, including objections from viewers, anti-abortion groups, GPs and MPs forwarding their constituents' concerns.

After ruling that the ad did not breach any rules in the advertising code, the ASA opted to take no further action on the matter.

Separately, media regulator Ofcom received 270 complaints about the ad, with the majority claiming that its "political" nature was in breach of the broadcasting code.

However, the watchdog today ruled that the ad was not in breach of its guidelines as MSI is a not-for-profit organisation and so is permitted to advertise on television.

"Ofcom does not consider that the content of the advertisement itself in any way sought to bring about changes in the law or influence the legislative process," said Ofcom.

"The advertisement was the promotion of MSI as an organisation that gives post-conception advice and to encourage viewers who needed such advice to contact them.

"The advertisement did not deal with any issues relating to changes to the law or influencing the legislative process."

You May Like