NEWS: ITC backs Tango but acts over epilepsy fears

The controversial commercial which launched Blackcurrant Tango by taking a spoof nationalistic swipe at the French, can stay on air, TV watchdogs have decided.

The controversial commercial which launched Blackcurrant Tango by taking

a spoof nationalistic swipe at the French, can stay on air, TV watchdogs

have decided.



The film attracted 63 complaints that it was offensive and xenophobic

and could spark violence against other European nationalities.



But the criticisms have been thrown out by the Independent Television

Commission, which this week compared the ranting Tango executive

featured in the ad with TV comic bigots such as Alf Garnett and Basil

Fawlty, neither of whom are taken seriously.



Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury created the 90-second film in which a Tango

‘spokesman’, Ray Gardner, becomes increasingly agitated and insulting to

a French student - ‘all hair-gel and fancy loafers’ - who has complained

that he doesn’t like Blackcurrant Tango as much as the other flavours.



The ITC said that the humour was at the expense of the over-the-top

reactions of the main character rather than directed at foreigners.



Meanwhile, the ITC has ordered TV companies to tighten checks after a

second ad was re-edited amid fears it could trigger epilepsy.



WCRS amended a film for Brylcreem Shampoo, featuring a man in a

nightclub with flashing strobe lights, after a complaint to the ITC that

it had caused an epileptic fit.



The incident comes just weeks after a similar ruling when Ogilvy and

Mather was forced to change an ad for the Ford Probe which featured

flashing lights (Campaign, 1 November).



The ITC said the Brylcreem commercial had not been checked against its

guidelines which were designed to reduce risks to epileptic viewers.



O&M has also been ordered by the ITC to change an American Express

commercial which, it said, falsely led people to believe Amex

travellers’ cheques could be ordered by telephone.



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