Irn Bru's 'MILF' ad cleared after 170 complaints

Irn Bru's controversial ad featuring a mum discussing her push-up bra has escaped censure after the Advertising Standards Association cleared it, despite the ad attracting more than170 complaints.

The ad features a teenage boy’s horror as he walks into his house with his friends, only to be greeted by his mum wearing a push up bra.

He looks on appalled, while his friends can’t keep their eyes off her as she wipes the table and then gives him a cuddle before asking, "Group hug?"

However, swigs of Irn Bru allow the boy to grin and bear the situation and the ad ends with the words, "Irn Bru, gets you through", displayed on two balloons.

The ad, which was aired earlier this year as part of Irn Bru's 'Get You Through' series, was created by the Edinburgh-based The Leith Agency.

The majority of complaints received against the ad said it was offensive and irresponsible, due to the sexual and inappropriate scenario between the mother and the young men.

Other comments claimed the ad was sexist and demeaning to women, and some said it was inappropriate for children.

The ASA launched an investigation into the complaints, but did not uphold them.

It said in its ruling: "We considered that the purpose of her actions was to form the basis of the humour in the ads, which was driven by the surreal notion that the son’s embarrassment could be countered by drinking Irn Bru"

Defending itself against the complaints, Barr, the owner of the Scottish soft drink, said: "The central focus of the ad was the son’s embarrassment and the comedic surreal concept that Irn Bru would help deal with such an awkward situation, and that humour relied on the mum’s innocence."

Barr added that the ad tried to stay true to Irn Bru’s "traditionally cheeky and irreverent sense of humour" and said it did not consider the scene inappropriate.

Irn Bru has famously produced some controversial ads, and in 2004, Ofcom banned its transsexual ad for reinforcing negative stereotypes.

Two other ads in the series also received complaints. In April, an ad featuring a Scotsman confronted by his daughter’s English boyfriend received 67 complaints for being "anti-English". There were 24 complaints about an ad that showed a father discovering his daughter was to be called "Fanny".

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