Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw's advert for a turmeric product that was "offensive to men" and a Holden cars promotion involving a gesture that is allegedly an ISIS salute both sparked complaints to Advertising Standards Authority last month.

The ASA said there was no grounds to proceed with either complaint.

The authority said a television advert for Good Health Turmeric Complex showed Richie McCaw and Gemma Flynn going for a run.

Gemma appears to outpace McCaw and the next scene had her leaving the words "Thrashed Ya!!" on the steamed up shower door.


The advert showed Flynn throwing a bottle of Good Health Turmeric Complex to McCaw and bottles of the product with the wording "Good Health Turmeric Supports tired, stiff joints for an active life".

The complainant said the implication was that to keep up with Flynn's jogging in future McCaw needed to take some of the tablets.

"I find the ad offensive and derogatory to men, and object to the use of the term 'thrashed'. The clear inference is that women are beating men because they have the right products. If the gender roles were reversed, this ad would be considered sexist and removed from air," the complainant said.

The ASA said the advertisement played on the good-natured competitiveness of two well-known, married sporting personalities.

"While the chair acknowledged the offence the advertisement had caused the complainant, she said it was obviously comedic hyperbole, unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most men in light of generally prevailing community standards."

The Holden television advert showed a man and child driving with the driver raising an index finger in acknowledgement of drivers coming in the opposite direction. The boy asked what the gesture meant and was told it was about the "1 per cent finance rate across the Holden range".

The complainant said the showing of one finger was also the ISIS salute.

"The Islamic State militants, known as Isis, are now using a single, raised index finger as the symbol of their cause. It's a well-known sign of power and victory around the world, but for ISIS, it has a more sinister meaning," they said.

A Holden advert used a one finger gesture which a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority said was also used by ISIS.
A Holden advert used a one finger gesture which a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority said was also used by ISIS.

The complainant referred to an article on the website Foreign Affairs, which said that when Isis used the gesture it was affirming an ideology that demanded the destruction of the West, as well as any form of pluralism.

"For potential recruits around the globe, it also showed their belief that they
would dominate the world. I don't think that's it very appropriate for today's society."

The ASA said the raised finger gesture was a standard driver acknowledgement towards other drivers and the advertiser used this to promote its 1 per cent finance offer.

"The chair also noted the drivers in the advertisement raised their finger while their hands remained on the steering wheel which was a very different gesture to that used by Islamic State militants," it said.

"Whilst the chair acknowledged the genuine concern of the complainant, she said it was an extreme interpretation of the gesture in the advertisement and was unlikely to be the general consumer take-out."