Rise in complaints as animal imagery offends consumers

A poster featuring a cow and the strapline, ’When I’m a burger, I want to be washed down with Irn-Bru’, was Britain’s most complained about ad last year.

A poster featuring a cow and the strapline, ’When I’m a burger, I

want to be washed down with Irn-Bru’, was Britain’s most complained

about ad last year.



The Advertising Standards Authority received 589 complaints about the

ad. But although the ASA rejected them, it issued a warning to

advertisers this week to beware of the offence that can be caused in the

way animals are portrayed.



The UK’s second most controversial ad - for TCP throat lozenges - also

caused uproar among animal lovers by showing a tiger biting a man’s neck

and the caption: ’Numb the pain of a sore throat.’



Although the appearance of the TCP national press campaign accidentally

coincided with the mauling of a circus trainer by a tiger, the ASA

rejected the 171 complaints, claiming it would be seen as

light-hearted.



The worst-offending ads are revealed in the ASA’s annual report which

shows a 14 per cent rise in complaints last year from 10,676 to 12,217.

At the same time, complaints about taste and decency rose by 58 per

cent.



However, AA executives say the picture is distorted by the high number

of complaints generated by a small number of ads - ten of which

accounted for 13 per cent of complaints made last year.



The annual report also renews its call for greater care to be taken

about the portrayal of women and religious imagery in ads.



The warning is prompted partly by the 142 complaints - the third highest

number - upheld against a Sunday Times ad promoting the work of the

photographer, Terry O’Neill, which showed the bikini-clad actress,

Raquel Welch, tied to a wooden cross.



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