Ultra Tune ad starring Charlie Sheen banned from TV
THE country's advertising standards watchdog has banned an Ultra Tune TV commercial starring Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen after complaints it degraded women.
It has left livid Gold Coast-based Ultra Tune roadside assist boss Sean Buckley wondering which of his other controversial ads will fill TV space he booked for the next eight months for the Sheen promotion.
Franchise giant Ultra Tune, which has 300-plus roadside assist and car repair businesses nationwide paid $500,000 to have Sheen star in the ad beside Gold Coast bikini models and ex AFL star Warwick Capper.
Previous ads have featured Jean Claude Van Damme and Mike Tyson.
Earlier this month, Ad Standards did not uphold complaints about the Sheen commercial but on appeal it did uphold complaints.
It features Sheen on board a luxury yacht, rescuing four women who drive into the water after their brakes fail.
Sheen, who starred in Platoon, Wall Street and Two and a Half Men before a spectacular fall from grace, welcomes the lads magazine models aboard noting he's "out of towels" before declaring he's "winning".
Complaints to Ad Standards seen by the Bulletin claim the ad is "based on the pretence women are unable to control a vehicle, are helpless, lack intelligence, want to take selfies during a crisis and need to be rescued by men".
Another complained it was exploitative of women because when Sheen says he's fresh out of towels it implies the women will be naked.
"They are all wearing short, tight dresses, squealing, driving around in a hot pink car and crash into water," one complaint reads.
"It reinforces the stereotype of women drivers being incompetent, clues and vulnerable in general."
In response, Ultra Tune argued use of Sheen's catchphrase "winning" was to leverage his fame not vilify women and it refuted suggestions the ad degraded women.
An Ad Standards panel dismissed the complaints finding it did not breach the code but an independent reviewer on appeal found there was a "substantial flaw" in that decision and it should be reconsidered. An Ad Standards Community Panel, referencing the #metoo climate, upheld the complaints requiring modification or discontinuation of the ads.
Mr Buckley said last night it was a "ridiculous" and he would have to replace it with other ads: "I'm very surprised because it was tame as."
Mr Buckley added he had liaised with Ad Standards on the content before filming.
Mr Buckley said he would seek legal advice on the ban.
"I find it interesting we have to take this off air and Two and a Half Men still plays every week."