Ofcom hears Egg and Cornetto cases

Despite receiving more than 60 complaints that it was derogatory to the Scots or the English, Ofcom has ruled that Mother's spot for Egg Card did not breach the Advertising Standards Code.

The TV ad showed a Scotsman digging up squares of turf from a field.

The Scot says he intends selling it as "genuine Wembley turf to anybody that's daft enough (to buy it)". He adds: "Who's going to know the difference? The English will buy anything."

While noting that humour that relies on stereotyping nationalities is potentially a difficult area in TV advertising and that such humour would not work with all nationalities, Ofcom argued that the Scots and English had a strong enough standing in UK society not to take significant offence. It therefore ruled that the ad is fit for broadcast.

McCann Erickson's "love potion" spot for Walls Cornetto also came under scrutiny.

The regulator received 66 complaints from viewers concerned either that the ad was scheduled inappropriately or objecting to the image and implication of a woman "prostituting herself" for an ice-cream.

Ofcom decided that the children's restriction imposed by the BACC, which kept it away from younger viewers, was appropriate. It also found that the image of a woman using her body to get what she wanted was a well-established treatment, that she was not negatively portrayed and that the image was not explicit. It therefore decided that the ad did not breach its codes.

- Close-up, p17.

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