Same-sex couple kiss in Mediabank Private ad - Youtube
Same-sex couple kiss in Mediabank Private ad - Youtube
2 min read

A television commercial featuring same sex couples kissing has been allowed to continue playing on air after complaints tried to get it removed.

The Australian Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) received complaints about a number of elements of the Medibank Private ad, which features a range of different settings, including a mother breastfeeding, a woman cuddling a dog and the images of same-sex couples kissing, embracing and moving away from implied kissing.

In complaints to the ASB, critics claimed that the scenes in the ad were offensive to Christian values.


The complaints a were rejected by the advertising watchdog, saying such scenes were in the context of “a broad range of loving relationships”.

One complainant wrote,“I wouldn’t let my young children watch a show with homosexual couples on it, but how am I supposed to censor advertisements? It is totally inappropriate and it pushes someone else’s accepted values on to my family. As a Christian do I have to keep the television turned off? ” one complaint said.


Another said that the ads breached the boundaries of what is acceptable on TV.

“I don’t mind seeing my daughter breastfeed her babies – I do object to seeing strangers breastfeeding in an advertisement on my TV in my own home. There are boundaries – I would not join Medibank if they are going to advertise like this – not necessary,” the complaint said.

Medibank Private responded to the complaints, saying it was a “documentary-style” TV commercial.

“Our decision to include same-sex couples in our advertising stems from the fact that we have been providing health insurance to the Australian population for over 39 years, and do not exclude anyone based on their sexual orientation,” it said in its response to the ASB.

The ASB rejected all complaints saying that the ad was reflective of the broad palette of Australian society.

“The Board considered that the image of the woman feeding her baby is very brief and is a depiction that does not expose the woman’s nipple or any nudity and is a modest and realistic depiction of how women feed their babies,” the determination said.

“Some members of the community might be uncomfortable with images of men kissing men, or women kissing women, but (the board) considered that the depictions of kissing in the advertisement are very brief and are not sexualised or shown to lead to any further intimacy.”

Last Updated on Mar 22, 2016

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