Woman loses bid to stop courier company from using 'Lord's name in vain' in advert
The Courier Guy company has been let off the hook after the Advertising Regulatory Board dismissed a woman’s complaint that it used “the Lord's name” in vain.
Vanessa Roux submitted that she took offence to the word “jirre”, which is the Cape way of saying “Here” (God) from a commercial she heard on Hot 91.9FM during June 2021.
The commercial features a lady saying: “Immediate effect hey? Huh! Ja-né. So I’ve got my mom’s birthday present here in Kloofendal. She’s mos innie Kaap! Now I must queue at the counter, to send it to her door, jirrr, queues are so 2019. No man!
“Pop your package into a Pudo locker near you, pick your process, and send almost anything, almost anywhere in the country, from as little a R50. All my favourite words, all together; Super simple, lekka quick. Pudo, powered by the courier guy. They can handle any package.”
Roux explained that she was brought up to not take the Lord’s name in vain.
The advertiser emphasised that the commercial has nothing to do with religion and that the word used is “jir” not “jirre”. This is a common expression in Cape Town and is akin to words like “jislaaik”, used to denote irritation.
“The expression 'jissis' is not uncommon, and serves as one example, and one often hears examples of 'Goddammit' or 'Oh my God' on television. While this may be uncomfortable for some religious people, such discomfort does not automatically warrant the forced removal of these phrases from the common lexicon ...
“Second, the directorate accepts that the distinction between 'jir' and 'jirre' is almost irrelevant, especially when listening to the commercial on the radio. It is equally likely that consumers would hear either of these words and insist that they heard it correctly. The defence that the word is completely removed from 'jirre' therefore does not hold water,” said the advertising directorate.
The context of the commercial clearly juxtaposes the inconvenience of having to queue to send a package with the convenience of using the advertiser’s service, said the directorate.
It is also noted that SA is a secular society with many religions represented in its people. Different religions have different rules, and it would be impossible for advertising to comply with all the rules for all the religions and sects thereof — this would require advertisers not to advertise pork products, not to show women with uncovered hair, and various other examples.
“It is not reasonable for a member of a particular religion to expect advertising to comply with all the rules of that religion. The commercial is therefore not found to be in contravention of clause 1 of section II of the code.”