ASA slams Cadbury and JWT Trident ads

Promotion of Trident chewing gum may be switched to outdoor after its TV launch campaign that provoked claims of racism was culled by the Advertising Standards Authority.

But Cadbury Trebor Bassett, the brand's owner, said it had not ruled out returning to TV with a different campaign.

A total of 519 complaints were made to the ASA about the ads, which featured both black and white people with strong Caribbean accents speaking in rhyme. One black viewer told the watchdog: "They portray us as objects to be laughed at."

The ASA agreed the ads, created by JWT, were offensive, but rejected claims that the campaign had upset many people because the brand shared its name with the Metropolitan Police's "black-on-black" gun crime initiative.

Cadbury said it remained committed to spending £10 million on promoting the brand this year.

"We've already gained 15 per cent of the UK gum market in a short period of time and we'll continue marketing Trident across a wide range of disciplines," a spokesman said. "We're looking seriously at outdoor and may yet return to television."

Cadbury declared itself "disappointed" by the ASA ruling because the ads had been approved by the BACC.

JWT went to ground and did not return calls.

- Perspective, page 21.

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