Fantastic Framing forced to change punny bumper sticker that said it could “shoot” your wife and “frame” your mother-in-law

A company specialising in photography and framing has been slapped on the wrist by the advertising watchdog for a bumper sticker that jokingly claim it could “shoot” your wife and “frame” your mother-in-law.

Read more: The 10 most complained about ads in 2015

Fantastic Framing is a mobile picture framing company with services in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Last month, the business caught the eye of the Advertising Standards Board after the watchdog received a complaint by someone who claimed Fantastic Framing was using “sexist and violent” advertising.

The complaint in question centred on an ad at the rear of one of Fantastic Framing’s vans.

The ad, which uses wordplay to promote the company’s framing services, claimed it could “shoot your wife and frame your mother-in-law”.

“If you want, we can hang them too,” the ad said.

When quizzed about the sticker, Fantastic Framing said its customers often remark on the humour of its wordplay.

“There is no bad intention for this advertising,” Fantastic Framing told the Ad Standards Board in response to the complaint.

“It is purely a joke which relates to marriage and picture frames.”

While the advertising watchdog noted the ad was intended to be funny, the board also considered how domestic violence is currently a major issue of community concern.

As a result, the advertising watchdog ruled the ad breached advertising standards because the double-meaning of “shoot”, “frame” and “hang” is not funny in contemporary society.

Because of this, the board upheld the complaint.

Fantastic Framing has told the Ad Standards Board it will change the sticker at the back of its van accordingly.

Businesses need to be mindful of domestic violence issues in their advertising

Michelle Gamble, founder of Marketing Angels, told SmartCompany the advertising watchdog didn’t find this ad funny because it’s “too close to what’s happening in reality”.

“You can’t ignore the current focus on domestic violence,” Gamble says.

“I think it’s incredibly insensitive marketing. It’s not funny. Women are still being killed at an alarming rate by partners. It’s a really poor choice [of words].”

Gamble says when drawing on humour, it’s best practise for businesses to show the ad to a few people outside of their business.

“I’m sure these small business owners are probably fantastic at framing,” Gamble says.

“But sometimes you can’t see the obvious thing in front of you [when you’re busy running a business]. It doesn’t hurt to get an opinion from three or four people who aren’t attached to your business to get an independent perspective.”

SmartCompany contacted Fantastic Framing but did not receive a response prior to publication.


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5 years ago

Oh, for goodness sake. Enough with the PC bull#### already.

David Cordover
David Cordover
5 years ago

Do you think it would be the same if it was “shoot” your husband and “frame” the dog? I recommend changing the stickers to “shoot” your neighbour and “frame” the Muslims. And “hang” the whining bitches who make these sort of complaints!

Vaughn Dumas
5 years ago

Really now??? When I first saw this I laughed. It was just so p(h)unny. Similar to what Nando’s do. We do realise that there’s an issue with DV in this country and I’m sure the company did as well, but it was not their intention to hurt. Either way, they got the (some free) advertising they wanted, thanx to the Watchdog.
Do you think the company organised someone to moan in order to get more exposure?

Steve Palmer
Steve Palmer
5 years ago

A bumper sticker I created said, ‘I found Nemo and he was yummy’. After their 4 yr old had the movie on repeat for 6 months the mums thought it was funny.
But in our democracy it seems it’s ok to have an opinion, just don’t tell anyone.

Justin Tyme
Justin Tyme
5 years ago

How sad. What a statement on the way we cater to minorities in Australia. We should be ashamed of ourselves. I travel internationally sometimes twice per month and I can tell you, people all around the world look at us and laugh. No wonder people smugglers can convince their clients we are a soft touch.