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Australian Viewers Offended By Target Ad's Use Of 'Bangers' And Gay Host: VIDEO

Gok Wan

British personality and fashion consultant Gok Wan was brought on to do a series of TV ads for retail chain Target in Australia. The first ad focused on women's underwear and bras, and controversy arose when viewers took offense at Gok's use of the slang term "bangers" to refer to women's breasts. The problem seems to be that, for Aussies, "bangers" refers to literal and metaphorical sausages, so applying the term to breasts is perplexing to some and downright crude or offensive to others. 

Target dismissed the complaints, upholding the word as an "irreverent term of affection." Similarly, when the Advertising Standards Board were forced to make a determination about the ad in response to complaints, they ruled that the ad was light-hearted and the use of "bangers" was not discriminatory against women. Still, Target is listening to the complaints and will likely substitute "bangers" with something else in the future to prevent further misunderstandings.

Then there are the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who were offended that Target dared use a gay man in their advertisements in the first place. This minority of complaints contained what one typically expects: self-righteous indignation combined with utter obliviousness to the irony of complaining about offensive slang while calling the gay man a "poof."

To these people, Target pulled no punches in making their position clear on their decision to use an openly gay man in their ads:

Target strongly believes that a person's sexuality is irrelevant to their worth as a person. Target makes no apology for using a gay man in its advertising and we do not believe that this should be grounds for upholding a complaint.

You can see the shocking ad for yourself AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. poor canadian bigots...wait 'till they see the isaac mizrahi ads! gotta love target, even with their flaws.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 28, 2013 2:18:43 PM

  2. It just seems weird they'd use a male British media personality to sell bras to women in Australia lol

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 28, 2013 2:31:04 PM

  3. I prefer the term "gazongas" when speaking slang about ladies breastacles. Or is it breasticles? Maybe when they're cold, I dunno. Not my territory anyway.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 28, 2013 2:31:20 PM

  4. To clarify, Target Australia is not related to Target USA. They're a separate company and they just license the logo from Target USA.

    Posted by: Agog | Aug 28, 2013 2:40:14 PM

  5. He's so HOT. Wonder if he's single? yumm

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 28, 2013 2:41:31 PM

  6. Phew! Thank god someone is dealing with the relevant issues of the day! I was very nearly offended!

    Posted by: JWL | Aug 28, 2013 2:47:16 PM

  7. Well, they have their publicity now, don't they.

    I second why did they import this Brit dude to do Target ads in Australia? Slang humor often doesn't travel well.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 28, 2013 3:39:27 PM

  8. Well, they have their publicity now, don't they.

    I second why did they import this Brit dude to do Target ads in Australia? Slang humor often doesn't travel well.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 28, 2013 3:39:27 PM

  9. Jay: he's rumored to be involved with Russell Tovey. Google him if you've never heard of him. Russell is pure hotness too.

    Posted by: Terry | Aug 28, 2013 3:50:46 PM

  10. I think the point here is that gay men are allowed to get away with saying sexist things about women.because of political correctness.

    Posted by: Adamn | Aug 28, 2013 4:04:04 PM

  11. Boohoo.

    Posted by: Sam | Aug 28, 2013 4:07:28 PM

  12. I saw NOTHING wrong with that ad...heck Victoria secret ads are wayyyy more sexual

    Posted by: disgusted american | Aug 28, 2013 4:19:07 PM

  13. The crazy thing is, if he wanted to comment on them, the common terms here are funbags, boobs or tits. Bangers is definitely a term used for sausages here, which raises confusion in the ads...

    Posted by: Stufromoz | Aug 28, 2013 4:22:39 PM

  14. Apparently we don't have any talent in Australia,so they import celebs. Eric Stonestreet does ads for Big W which is similar to Target.All our "talent" shows have imported judges.

    Posted by: John | Aug 28, 2013 4:52:39 PM

  15. FYI- Target Australia is NOT the same company as Target US. see article in Minneapolis Star Tribune (where Target US headquarters):

    Posted by: Nick | Aug 28, 2013 5:00:38 PM

  16. Would have been nice for them to use the correct slang term.

    Posted by: CGD | Aug 28, 2013 5:35:00 PM

  17. sheez I thought they were hamburgers.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Aug 28, 2013 5:46:20 PM

  18. We obviously do not have that much talent here in OZ. We have the str8 guy, who plays gay on Modern Family, flogging Big W (Discount store)and British rockers Status Quo flogging a supermarket chain. Gok is the pick of the bunch though.

    Posted by: Dave | Aug 28, 2013 6:00:46 PM

  19. Hey, NORTHALABAMA! Waddya mean Canadian bigots? The controversy is taking place in Australia, with Australian bigots voicing their displeasure. Canadian bigots live in Canada. You know that Canada & Australia are two different countries, with the entire Pacific Ocean in between, don't you? Or didn't you have geography classes at school in NORTHALABAMA? Did you have schools in NORTHALABAMA?

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Aug 28, 2013 6:33:34 PM

  20. In what country is "bangers" slang for breasts?

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 28, 2013 8:29:31 PM

  21. Bangers is a term for sausages in Britain too - "Bangers and Mash" being a good old British dish of sausages with mashed potatoes. Maybe bangers for breasts is a new one...

    Posted by: Alan S | Aug 28, 2013 8:46:45 PM

  22. as an australian i can't help but feel out of touch whenever australian slang gets used, i didn't even know what bonza meant until a few years ago.

    as for goks nationality, is it really so unusual to have a "foreigner" sell something to us? george clooney sells coffee in asia etc

    Posted by: luke | Aug 28, 2013 8:53:14 PM

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