Advert banned: Ministry of Justice photo ‘likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race’ | UK News


A Ministry of Justice advert has been criticised by the advertising watchdog, which said it was “likely to cause serious offence” on the grounds of race.

The ad on Facebook was for the MoJ’s Prison Jobs scheme and featured an image of a white prison officer talking to a black inmate, with text saying: “Become a prison officer. One career, many roles.”

An accompanying caption read: “We’re key workers, problem solvers, life changers. Join us to perform a vital role at HMP Wormwood Scrubs.”

A reader complained that the ad, seen on 25 June, perpetuated negative ethnic stereotypes and was likely to cause serious offence.

The Advertising Standards Authority said: “We considered the ad did not suggest that all black men were criminals or were more likely to be so than any other ethnic group.

“However, it showed an imbalanced power dynamic, with a smiling white prison officer, described as a ‘life changer’, and a black, institutionalised prisoner.

“We considered the ad’s focus on the positive qualities of the white prison officer and negative casting of the black prisoner was likely to be seen as perpetuating a negative racial stereotype.

“We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race by reinforcing negative stereotypes about black men.”

It ruled that the advert must not appear again.

The MoJ said it would appeal the ruling, adding that the photos in the campaign featured real officers and prisoners, so it was not an inaccurate or unfair representation of the engagement that might be seen between officers and prisoners.

None of the other images used in the campaign showed white officers alongside ethnic minority prisoners, it added.

Myleene Klass has had three Instagram posts banned by the ASA
The posts included references to Skechers (left) and Next trousers (right)

Klass criticised over social media posts that were not identified as adverts

Myleene Klass has also fallen foul of the advertising watchdog, after failing to make it clear that three Instagram posts were adverts.

The posts, promoting products by Next and Skechers, as well as the musician and TV’s star’s book, should not be seen again, the ASA ruled.

Klass, 44, who has some 414,000 followers on Instagram, shared the first post, a video reel, on 13 May.

It featured text that said: “What do you wish they’d taught at school? I asked my mates.”

Several celebrities were then shown answering the question before the clip ended with Klass holding a copy of her book, accompanied by the text: “Wish granted.”

An Instagram user complained about the star’s post, saying it was not obviously identifiable as an ad.

Later in May, Klass shared photos of herself wearing clothes from Next, tagged with MyleeneKlassXNext and @nextofficial.

Next said it had an agreement with the star that she should make positive references to the brand in interviews, public appearances and on social media, but that she should make the commercial relationship clear.

Klass also shared images of herself wearing items by footwear brand Skechers in May and June. One showed the star and another woman wearing pink plastic clogs which included the text: “Didn’t even plan it.”

The posts were part of a contractual relationship, Skechers said, which required Klass to comply with all applicable laws, including advertising laws.

A representative for Klass told the ASA there was “some confusion as to what was and was not an ad but Ms Klass had added ‘ad’ to all her posts moving forward and would continue to do so”.

Sky News has contacted a representative for Klass for comment.


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