The Drum reports that Donald Trump, creator of the American election "October surprise" that ended up making a fool of him, likes to spread his special brand of idiocy to other countries as well.
The Donald (man, I miss Spy Magazine!) posted the above picture on his Facebook page with the caption, "I guess they don’t have freedom of the press in Scotland. We created this ad and the ASA would not allow us to publish it. I don’t know what is wrong with it, it seems factually accurate to me."
Alex Salmond is the First Minister of Scotland. His government has committed Scotland to legislation on emission reduction and the generation of renewable energy. And his government did release convicted terrorist Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, "based on the rules and regulations of Scots Law and the reports of the Parole Board for Scotland, the Prison Governor, and the Scottish Prison Service Director of Health and Care Dr Andrew Fraser" to Libya on compassionate grounds when he was dying of prostate cancer.
But for someone so concerned about "truth", Mr. Trump is pretty fast and loose with his own facts.
...a spokesperson from the ASA [the British Advertising Standards Authority] told The Drum: “I can confirm that the ASA has not banned the ad that Donald Trump refers to.
“We don’t ban ads from appearing. We respond to concerns about ads once they’re in the public domain.
“The advertiser may have sought pre-publication advice on the likelihood of the ad being acceptable under the Advertising Code. This Copy Advice service is provided, for free and in confidence, by our sister organisation, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).
We can’t comment on whether advice was sought or given as the service is confidential.
“However, I should stress that Copy Advice is exactly that, advice. It is non-binding and Copy Advice does not ‘ban’ ads either.”
In other words, the ad was submitted to an advisory panel that tells advertisers whether or not the ASA is likely to cause members of the public to complain to the ASA, which would then consider the complaint against British advertising standards, and act accordingly.
They do kind of "ban" ads, through ad industry self-regulation. They make some pretty ridiculous judgements, but they are no more of a threat to "free speech" than other industries' self-regulating bodies in the United States, such as the Motion Picture Association of America or the now-defunct Comics Code Authority.
As my colleague Kerry pointed out, Donald Trump is developing a golf course in Scotland, and the proposed turbines are "spoiling his view".
Let's just hope that the UK's Committee of Advertising Practice also told Mr. Trump, in confidence, to fire his Art Director.