Indeed. Wouter du Toit (for it is he) has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) about an insecticide commercial which – somewhat implausibly – contains scenes of insects… being
Wouter se case is as follows:
The complainant is of the opinion that the commercial “makes a sport of killing innocent and harmless ants”. He adds that it is harmful to portray the killing of any living creature on television. The complainant pointed out that viewers (especially children) should rather learn about the role ants play in the world, and how they factor into the eco system.
Wouter has too much time on his hands.
“Yeah, ok,” said the legal people representing the insecticide company, “but hang on…”
Firstly, insects aren’t animals, according to the What Is An Animal? Act of 1962 (also known as the Animals Protection Act, No 71 of 1962); and
Two, they weren’t killing ants in the veld. Ants in the veld are lovely. Ants in your kitchen though? Nah, dude; and
C. What harm have we really done to kids by showing this? Really? and
Anyway – this ad was flighted during a 16-rated film which kids shouldn’t have been watching.
Before bodyslamming Wouter’s complaint into the polished concrete floor of their Burnside Island Office Park home, the ASA then went on to also note that:
…there is no cruelty depicted beyond the killing of these pests. They are not dismembered, disfigured, or otherwise made to suffer before being killed. They are effectively either hit by a soccer ball, or killed with a pesticide, but death appears to come almost instantaneously.
Which sounds like the insecticide in question might be just what you’re after if you don’t have a football to hand. Or… er… foot.