A pizza flyer using expletive-laden language and another showing a silhouette of a man with an erection are among the advertisements that irked consumers in August.

The Advertising Standards Authority has released its findings into a pile of complaints received from viewers last month.

One of the upheld complaints was against controversial fast-food chain Hell Pizza with its advertisement for the Flaming Dragon pizza.

The ad stated in part: "Slay the dragon and receive...a certificate of mutherf**king awesomeness" and "Warning! It's even hotter and we're setting this b*%#@ on fire!"


The complainant, referred to as D Janssen, said they were offended by the language used in the colourful advertisement, which would be attractive to children.

"I know I am sensitive about foul language compared to some folk, but surely this is going a bit far - this is a colourful flyer that I'm sure would be picked up by children in the household . I just didn't expect such content in a pizza advert," they said.

"I do realise that Hell do this sort of stuff to get a reaction - so they win either way don't they?"

A Hell Pizza spokesperson said the pizza was "strictly R18" as it contains the world's hottest chillies and "as such the advertising is aimed at an adult audience".

It was the only piece of negative feedback the company had received about the promotion, they said.

But the ASA ruled the advertisement breached social responsibility, decency and offensiveness in the Code of Ethics.

The flyer was not saved by the use of the symbols and asterisks in place of the letters in the expletives as they were still recognisable, the ASA said.

There was also no measures taken to mitigate its exposure to children and the colourful and cartoon style of the flyer would appeal to younger members of the family, it ruled.


Meanwhile, a complaint submitted against Gillman Wheelans Residential Subdivisions for advertised sections in the Broken Run subdivision was not upheld.

The ad showed a builder with a hammer in his tool belt, creating a silhouette of a man with an erection, and stated: "Start erecting in Broken Run, Halswell."

It prompted two complaints - with H Traxler Puddle saying the silhouette "looks like the man is having a huge erection" and, coupled with the word 'erecting' in the advertisement, was offensive.

The second complainant, J Godard, shared similar concerns and said the billboard advertisement could be seen by children.

But the ASA said the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious and widespread offence to most people because of the context, target audience and product.

Complaints about a website promoting kawakawa leaves as a "tonic for blood purification" and another series of advertisements claiming to solve "black magic, evil spirits and drinking" were also upheld by the ASA.