‘Who’s the brains of this operation’ ad banned for being distressing and “insulting to the medical profession.” Does nobody have a sense of humour anymore?!

by Lynn Connolly

The Nanny State antics of various media watchdogs and assorted do-gooder and self-appointed babysitters of the nation’s morality often have my blood boiling – as per this article about the so-called ‘glamourising’ of gambling – and yet again today, there’s evidence that some people in this country have had a sense of humour bypass…

It’s been reported by the Daily Mirror that an ad made by travel website Kayak, which features a doctor carrying out brain surgery while making the patient search the web for a holiday deal, has been banned having been deemed, “distressing and deeply upsetting.”

What the f***? Does anyone – outside of a rubber room that is – actually believe for one moment that the ad in anyway portrays or represents an ACTUAL operation or the actions of a brain surgeon??

Well, apparently so, as the Advertising Standards Agency received over 400 complaints about the ad…

The paper states, “Of the 441 complaints received by the Advertising Standards Authority, ‘a number’ found it offensive, 25 were concerned that it could be distressing to children and 16 believed it was insulting to surgeons and the medical profession in general.”

Other objections apparently came from people who had either had brain surgery or were about to, and complaints were also from some people who had “lost family members” due to neurological conditions.

Meanwhile, Kayak said that they were now aware that the humour in the ad “could offend at times”, but added that the scenario was “obviously a parody” and that they hadn’t “intended to portray real-life drama nor to prey on fear or anxiety.”

The ASA reportedly rejected all of the complaints, with the exception of those made by viewers who had either “personally experienced brain surgery or who had family members who had undergone or were about to undergo that type of surgery.”

The authority said, “Although we understood the ad was intended to be a humorous depiction of someone pressed for time searching for a holiday, we noted a number of complainants had found it distressing and some had found it sickening and deeply offensive because of their personal experience.

“We considered the ad’s flippant treatment of a serious and recognisably real situation was likely to cause distress and serious offence to those viewers who had been affected by the type of operation depicted in the ad.

“We considered the ad was likely to cause distress without justifiable reason and serious offence to some viewers and therefore concluded it breached the Code.”

It ruled that the ad must no longer be broadcast in its present form. Here’s a reminder of the ‘offensive’ ad which I thought was just plain brilliant! It always makes me laugh, and yes, in anticipation of people saying “You wouldn’t think it was funny if…” I have had a family member who died of – and another who’s had treatment for – a neurological condition…

So once again, I’m left despairing of some members of our society, who, in my opinion, should have better things to worry about than an ad that is clearly not intended to be serious. Here are a few suggestions…

Rampant unemployment, third-world famine, global warming, the Middle East crisis, the failing NHS.

Anyone who needs anymore, give me a holler.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.