Backlash over Confused.com's alleged 'dogging' ad

Confused.com has defended its latest ad starring Brian the robot after it emerged the advertising watchdog is assessing the spot after complaints that it shows a couple 'dogging'.

The ad features Brian the robot approaching a man in a car, and as the robot taps the window, a woman suddenly sits up looking slightly shocked.

The couple look flustered as the robot introduces himself, but when he says they can save £225 on their car insurance, the pair start to look more interested.

So far the ad has received 20 complaints and a spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority said that the main claims against the ad were that it was offensive, distasteful, suggestive of sexual activity, degrading to women and inappropriate for children.

However, Joby Russell, the marketing director of Confused.com, dismissed the comments and said: "Admittedly, the woman is somewhat startled by Brian appearing in the car window, having been tying her shoelace."

He explained that Brian could not help but try and help people save money on their car insurance, and said: "However, this does mean that he sometimes finds himself in awkward situations.

"With Brian’s passion to help people save money, all we can say is watch out for where he might find himself next."

Confused.com introduced Brian the robot into its ads in May, replacing the singing animated character Cara, as part of a complete brand overhaul by Publicis London.

The first Brian ad aired on 1 June, featuring Brian being designed and built in a Confused.com workshop.

The ASA said that they are currently assessing the complaints and have not launched an inquiry into the ad at this stage.

This is not the first time Confused.com has received complaints against its ads and in July 2011, the ASA banned the site from making the misleading claim that it was "18 million strong and growing".

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