Birds Eye pulls TV ad showing Captain jumping into water over safety fears

Frozen food brand Birds Eye has pulled its new ad campaign following safety fears because it depicts its eponymous Captain jumping into the sea from a boat.

The ad, which broke on TV last month, unveiled a more contemporary-looking Captain Birds Eye jumping off a boat on a sunny day to go swimming with his grandson. 

But the brand has now pulled the ad following a complaint from Durham County Council, which has worked on water safety following the death of a 14-year-old boy in the River Wear in 2015.

Cameron Gosling died after going swimming with friends and had not acclimatised to the cold temperature of the water. The teenager's family and the council later launched the Dying to be Cool campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of swimming in cold water. 

The council wrote to Birds Eye expressing concern that the ad suggested jumping into cold water on a hot day was safe.

A spokesman for Birds Eye said the current ad has now been taken off air and that the voiceover was being amended to remove references to the temperature of the water and weather.

The ad was created by Grey London, and Zenith is handling the media planning and buying.

The Captain Birds Eye character had been missing from TV advertising for 10 years before being reintroduced in 2016.

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