PLEASE, will someone set advertisers free to be offensive again, pleads Andrew Human, CEO of SA’s premier creative communications awards, the Loeries.Advertising in SA is in danger of becoming "trite", because clients and agencies are afraid someone, somewhere, might complain, he says. He’s not advocating personal attacks for the sake of it. But recent history shows it takes only a few people — sometimes one — claiming imagined offence to kill off a successful campaign enjoyed by millions of others.Remember when the Advertising Standards Authority, the industry watchdog that seems to inhabit its own moral universe, banned FNB’s light-hearted "Steve" campaign (about a dull customer of that name) because children called Steve "might" be teased at school?Such is the power of self-appointed nannies that most marketers will do anything to avoid even the mildest controversy.SA isn’t alone in facing this challenge, but Human says it has a direct effect on the quality of local advertising. ...

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