Coke Zero sparks controversy with offensive ads

LONDON - Coca-Cola has aroused the wrath of mental-health campaigners, women and tall people with its new campaign for 'Bloke Coke', Coke Zero.

The soft-drinks giant has already pledged to drop an execution that features the strapline "Blind dates without the psychos" after receiving complaints from mental health charities, including Scottish anti-stigma campaign See Me.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola said: "Mental health is a sensitive issue and we appreciate that this ad may offend some people."

In total, the Advertising Standards Authority has received 14 complaints about the campaign, created by VCCP. One execution using the line "Gigs without tall people" was slammed for encouraging verbal and physical abuse of tall people. Another, with the strap "Girlfriends without a five-year plan", sparked complaints that it was offensive because it implied that all women want to do is settle down.

The ASA is considering investigating the complaints.

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