A recent Booking.com TV and cinema advert received numerous complaints claiming that the ad was offensive and that the repetition of the word “booking” suggested a swear word.
The 1-minute long video advert includes a voice-over with the phrase;
“You got it right. You got it booking right… it doesn’t get any booking better than this. Look at the view, look at the booking view.”
Some of the complaints suggested that the advert would encourage children to swear, and a number reported seeing it during programmes that children would watch and challenged whether it was appropriately placed.
In a lengthy judgement, the ASA admitted many viewers would understand the repetition of the word booking as the expletive “f***ing”, but that the voice-over was so clear as to avoid confusion. The ASA also said the use of the word “booking” was not gratuitous.
The authority also ruled that the word “was sufficiently dissimilar” to the swear word and unlikely to be recognised as a reference by children.