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