Charity ads in the dock

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to investigate a
series of complaints about the children’s charity Barnardo’s latest

Adverts featured in the national press include graphic images of
young adults who have killed themselves as a result of abuse or
poverty suffered in childhood.

An ASA spokesperson said complaints had come from people whose
relatives had committed suicide in circumstances similar to those
featured in the ads.

“We have received some very strong objections and we are
investigating the matter,” he added. “We have to consider whether
the ads are likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We look
at the cause being promoted and the medium used.”

Earlier this year the ASA ruled that another Barnardo’s
campaign, which included the image of a baby taking heroin, did not
breach guidelines.

A spokesperson for Barnardo’s said both campaigns were aimed at
“shaking off the orphanage tag” and raising awareness of young
people’s issues.

“We have had a mixed response, but we feel we need to confront
the problem head-on,” she explained.

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