If the level of pettiness of complaints to the world's advertising standards authorities is anything to go by, the world's consumers are certainly getting a lot more sensitive about what they see in advertising.
And as a result, more and more ads that world have quite easily have passed muster 20 years ago are now being hauled off TV and cinema screens and out of newspapers and magazines.
A quick check on the Internet produced a list of 15 of the world's most "offensive, banned and rejected" advertisements. Admittedly, some of them are decidedly tacky and make no marketing sense whatsoever, clearly just designed to be shocking for shock's sake. Judge for yourself
But, the majority would probably not have raised a single eyebrow 20 years ago. Have a look at the ads below and judge for yourself.
The big question, of course, is this:
Are advertising standards watchdogs simply getting stricter and a lot more conservative or are consumers really a lot more sensitive these days?
And if the latter is the case, is it just a question of a tiny minority of over-eager Mother Grundies trying to dictate to dictate levels of morality on behalf of the majority or do those few, who complain so bitterly and sometimes from a position of such pettiness, actually represent the opinion of the majority?
Bacardi - Canada - Banned as it "objectified and demeaned women" (ASC)click to enlarge
Kiss Tobacco - Israel - Banned as it contains "obscenity and ressemblance of human beings"click to enlarge
Paddy Power - Ireland - Banned as "the betting odds referred to each woman's chances of either being knocked down by the truck were offensive and demeaned older people"click to enlarge
Energizer - Chile - Rejected by the clientclick to enlarge
NO2ID - UK - Most Complained as "the barcode on Tony Blair's upper lip made him resemble Hitler, which was offensive"click to enlarge
Killer Heels by NMA - UK - Banned as it "trivialised and stylised violence"click to enlarge
Department of Health - UK - Banned as it can "frighten and distress children"click to enlarge
Gucci - UK - Bannedclick to enlarge
Six Feet Under TV Series - UK - Banned as they were "offensive, shocking and likely to cause undue distress"click to enlarge
Diesel - UK - Banned as its "sexual image was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and was unsuitable in a magazine that could be seen by children"click to enlarge
Russian Finance Magazine - RUSSIA - Banned for being "immoral"click to enlarge
The Rules of Attraction (movie) - USA - Banned as "the copulating toys were considered offensive and obscene"click to enlarge
Tom Ford - USA - Most Complained as "it was sexually explicit"click to enlarge
Towers Anti-Smoking Campaign - CHINA - Rejected as "inappropriate"click to enlarge
The Breast Cancer Fund - USA - Rejected by advertising spaces run by Viacom "over fears that its depiction of mastectomy scars would prove to be too shocking to the public"click to enlarge