ASA flexes muscle to remove Tango ad after complaints

LONDON - The chairman of the advertising watchdog has ordered an ad for Tango to be taken off the air after complaints that children may emulate a scene where a man crashes into a tree with a number of concrete pipes hitting him. Updated

The decision has been taken after four complaints about the ad from the public, including one from relatives of a boy who was killed in an accident while playing with concrete pipes. Viewers have said that they are worried children may copy the ad.

In response to the complaints, Tango owner Britvic said it would not air the ad again, and that it was also removing it from the Tango website.

Adrian Troy, brand controller for Britvic Soft Drinks, said: "We sincerely apologise for any offence that may have been caused by the recent 'goat on a rope' ad for Tango Orange. None was ever intended."

It is the first dramatic intervention by the Advertising Standards Authority since it took over regulation of television advertising from Ofcom at the beginning of November.

Lord Borrie, chairman of the association, has exercised his powers to take the ad off the air while it is investigated to see if it has infringed the advertising code.

"Goat on a rope" is the latest execution in a series of ads by Clemmow Hornby Inge, where people are shown going to extreme lengths to crush fruit. It uses the strapline "You know when you've been Tango'd".

The brand is no stranger to controversial advertising -- a 2000 spot by HHCL/Red Cell was banned by the regulator after people complained it encouraged bullying. The spot, which showed a non-Tango drinker's house being invaded by bully boys, inspired a new addition to the advertising code when it was reviewed in 2002.

The ASA council is due to meet next week, when a decision will be made about whether the ad will be banned. It had been cleared by the BACC for broadcast.

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