Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s ’kill your speed’ work for the
Department of Transport has been criticised by some TV viewers for being
too graphic and upsetting, according to the Independent Television
Commission’s latest Television Advertising Complaints report.
More than 40 viewers complained that the series of four ads - which show
a young woman being knocked down and killed on a zebra crossing by a
speeding car - were harmful.
Viewers were concerned that the ads were shown before the 9pm watershed
and some were upset because they were reminded of tragedies involving
The ads already had a post-7.30pm restriction to limit their exposure to
children and the ITC took that into account when assessing the
The ITC decided that upsetting some viewers who had experience of such
tragedies was unavoidable, but that past experience has shown that the
majority of viewers do accept the use of graphic imagery for such an
important purpose. The complaints were not upheld.
Leo Burnett’s Big Mac promotional work for McDonald’s attracted
complaints from 30 viewers who were unable to take advantage of the
offer because restaurants had run out of stock.
McDonald’s said it had anticipated that the demand for Big Macs would
rise from 500,000 to two million as a result of the ads. In the event,
demand rose to four million. As soon as it became aware of the problems,
McDonald’s took the ad off air.
The ITC considered that the advertiser had acted as swiftly as possible
and decided not to uphold the complaints.