Bloody Hell

It seems that British television has banned a new Australian tourism ad campaign for using the phrase "bloody hell."

The ad, which pitch the sights to see and activities to do in Australia, ends with a bikini-clad woman asking "so where the bloody hell are you"? Evidently British television censors deemed the ad too offensive.

The ad still runs in movie theaters and a print version is also running in Britain. The ad is running on American television without controversy.

Tourism Australia, the organization that created the ad, is reveling in the ban. Scads of Britons, hearing of ban are flocking to the internet to view it. As is typical with such censorship, the ban is boosting the ad’s appeal and success.

"Bloody" has traditionally been a very offensive word in Britain. The 1914 London opening of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion was scandalous as Eliza Doolittle utters the phrase "not bloody likely" in the third act. In recent decades, the word has lost much of its offensive character in Britain and is often heard on British TV.

In Australia, the word is only the mildest of oaths, more an intensifier than anything else. In the US, the word has little currency, but where it does it is not considered offensive at all.

The banned ad can be seen at http://www.wherethebloodyhellareyou.com.

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