Here Comes The Censorship – No, Really, I Mean It


No, this isn’t about that Facebook war on fake news, rather, this is about the Advertising Standards Authority and yes, really, this is a demand for censorship. The path from what they’re saying to what I am isn’t all that long either.

Broadcast advertisers should be subject to a new duty of care to protect young people’s mental health, NHS leaders have said.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is being urged to clamp down on advertisements which fuel body insecurity among teenagers.

Senior health officials are demanding a meeting with the organisation’s chief executive to discuss concerns that too many advertisements – such as those for cosmetic surgery shown during Love Island – are heaping pressures on the young.

OK, boobley, boobely, bureaucrat decides to leap on Love Island bandwagon. So what?

Well, the what is this:

It also urges the ASA to consider if the introduction of a broader Duty of Care for mental health should be imposed on all broadcast advertisers.


“The introduction of a broader duty of care for mental health should be considered for all broadcast advertisers,” it says.

Yup. They’re arguing for full on censorship now.

Decades back Bernard Levin applauded the idea that we even had an ASA. He pointed out that – as they were debating the claim to being the crunchiest crisp or summat – the mere existence shows that we’d sorted all the big problems. This current part being perhaps that the long march through the institutions continues. What used to be an arbiter of factual claims in advertisements is now to be used to censor.

And yes, I do mean censor, properly. It’ll be the law, so therefore it is indeed government. And “mental health” is just too large a grab all. For recall the idea of The Spirit Level and Affluenza. We’re being driven mad by consumerism itself. That inequality itself and of itself causes looniness. So now we’ve the arbiter of what may be shown in an advertisement tasked with mental health care, consumer products themveryselves being things which damage our mental health.

You think people won’t use that? Yeah, right. So, welcome to this new world of ours. Presumably the ads will now be concerning the joys of equality and sameness. The BBC’s regular output then.

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