The Barnardo’s advert, currently casting a black shadow over commercial TV, will continue to air despite attracting almost 500 complaints. According to the Advertising Standards Authority the advert was ‘justified,’ despite some of the complainants being victims of abuse who found the advert ‘distressing.’

Before we tackle the commercial itself it’s worth noting the power of the buck in this instance. Barnardo’s are paying a lot of money to run this advert. If they weren’t I should imagine 500 complaints would see the bastard taken off the air at once, especially ones from abuse victims. This is something the BBC, a publicly funded organisation, don’t have in their favour. Complain about them and a national scandal emerges, moan about your rights as a viewer after suffering shock following a confrontation with poorly judged and sensationalist shit such as this offing from Barnardo’s and you get brushed off like pubic hair that’s escaped from Stalag Luft Underpant.

The main problem with the advert is that it makes no fucking sense.

Yes, we get the cycle of abuse thing on paper but how does this offing from a Children’s Charity reinforce this? Who is this targeted at?

Teachers who don’t listen to adult women in school uniforms saying ‘I don’t understand’? That rotter who gives her a good smack round the head as she’s trying to eat toast?

Even if this was made clear I’m not sure where Barnardo’s fit into all this and am now left confused as to what Barnado’s actually do. I thought Barnardo’s was a children’s home. Are they advertising for residents or what?

The advert falls on its arse from the off by the choice of lead. The blonde ‘teen’ could be anything from 18 to 35. Either way, the character doesn’t have ‘vulnerability’ written all over her. In fact, the first thing you notice is she’s quite hot with big tits.

The choice of the ‘cycle of abuse’ is bizarre too. Not just the sequence of events, but the situations in which our heroine finds herself in. First off, we see her assaulting someone so our sympathies aren’t really engaged with her. When we see her crying in nick, a few of us probably thought she jolly well deserved it (what-ho).

Then comes the hitting scene which is as powerful as it is upsetting. Between you and me, it’s very well done, but it can’t be justified in any rational way as it doesn’t function outside of what it is… which is ‘nasty’.

The final scene of her getting whacked on horse is more farcical than hard-hitting. The makers may as well have portrayed her with a dribbling tongue hanging out, trying to catch imaginary butterflies over a Jefferson Starship soundtrack. Speeding the sequence up (instead, perhaps, on focusing on her welfare when she was younger which may have saved the whole shambles) demonstrates an ironic ‘fuck it, this’ll do’ mentality.

Should it be banned?

Not really, there’s no such thing as bad publicity and through foul means or fair, many more people will now have heard of Barnardo’s. Its just a shame that because of the poor way they’ve portrayed themselves you’ll have to find out what they actually do via other sources. The twits.

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18 Responses to “Barnardo’s”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    What a shit advert. It should be banned. Because it’s shit.

    Wrong actress, wrong message, wrong, wrong, wrong.

    PS – Piqued, when you submitted this you’d written ‘Barnado’s’ as ‘Bernados’… which made it sound like a pizza joint. I couldn’t work out what you were on about until halfway in.

  2. ugeine Says:

    It’s a shame. People seem to think that if you’ve got a message (‘Think’ etc) that’s a valuable one it doesn’t matter how crass the advert is or how it plays on fear and shock tactics.

  3. Sue De Nymh Says:

    It didn’t even register in my brain as advertising Barnardos. I thought it was for the NSPCC – that’s how effective an advert it is.

  4. indy Says:

    barnardos. shame about the advert. but their pizzas are great! or wait. is “your” barnardos the same establishment as the italian resturant in malmö?

  5. Napoleon Says:

    I can’t get enough of their Triple Pepperoni & Mushroom Deluxe.

  6. Nick T Says:

    I remember little wooden collecting boxes we kids had in the 70s.
    They looked like little houses with a slot in the roof for pennies.
    We each colleted money and handed them in at school.
    It was nice.
    This ad is like an episode of Eastenders.
    Bring back the little wooden boxes I say.
    And that little plastic boy in calipers, he was ace.

  7. Jo Says:

    I saw this the other day – all it achieved was getting me to watch it til the end to find out what the hell it was on about. Maybe that was the point of it. However, I never did get it so I believe I went “Hmm. That was weird.” then carried on with my conversation.

    Money well spent. That’s really going to inspire people to donate…

  8. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Cracking article Piqued.

    Absolutely agree with the good folks on here – I din’t have a funking clue what was going on.

    My inititial thoughts were that between the violence and the girl in a school uniform crying and looking upset, people into very nasty internet sites won’t have to go looking far for a wank this winter.

    It’ll win a shedload of awards of course – but does it actually achieve anything?

  9. Wenchy Says:

    “In fact, the first thing you notice is she’s quite hot with big tits.”

    Really? Christ, I can assure you I didn’t notice that – and usually I’m quite a one for spotting a fine pair of jumper bunnies.

  10. extremelisteningmode Says:

    She does, the man’s quite right.

  11. The Redundant Girl Says:

    Well I’m sure Barnados are happy the advert has had an impact – it will go down in history as, ‘that one with the blonde, with big tits, who gets smacked’.
    Old Doc Thomas* must be sooo proud.

    *Yup, had to look that up cause I did not know who started the gig!

  12. b'ree Says:

    i know what i’m talking about here (i know you know i know) and it’s SHIT.

    and wrong.

    and SHIT.

    it makes me angry. and it models quite nicely how good the drugses are for ladies who get thrashings from the men.


  13. Mr Chipz Says:

    The actress in the ad is 16 you fucking sex cases. ‘…quite hot with big tits’, christ, you should be stabbed up in a caravan and have your balls cut off.

  14. Joanne Says:

    You’ve still got the title spelt wrong. It’s Barnardo’s.

  15. Napoleon Says:

    I’d like to second Chipz’s comments. As a registered sex offender, he knows what he’s talking about.

  16. Nick T Says:

    A caravan? Now that IS harsh.

    Nap “fucking sex case” shurley?

  17. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Chipz, 16 is perfectly acceptable. You are being ageist.

  18. Mr Chipz Says:

    Not if you’re as old as Piqued it’s not!

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