Fila ’pushy’ campaign avoids ASA’s censure

An ad campaign accused of exploiting the incident in which the footballer Paolo Di Canio pushed a referee to the ground is not being given a red card by the Advertising Standards Authority.

An ad campaign accused of exploiting the incident in which the

footballer Paolo Di Canio pushed a referee to the ground is not being

given a red card by the Advertising Standards Authority.



It cleared Fila, the sportswear manufacturer, of glorifying

irresponsible behaviour and setting a bad example to young people with

poster and cinema advertising in which Di Canio describes himself as

’pushy’.



Di Canio, now with West Ham, provoked outrage when, as a Sheffield

Wednesday player, he sent referee Paul Alcock tumbling after being sent

off during a match against Arsenal in 1998. The Football Association

charged him with misconduct, fined him pounds 10,000 and banned him for

11 matches.



In his voiceover for the cinema commercial, produced by Billington

Jackson, Di Canio says: ’If you want to get to the absolute top you have

to push yourself. You have to be able to push others around you so that

they too can achieve their ambitions. This is very important to me.

Because, you know, I have always been a pushy person.’



Fila claimed the advertising did not relate to the pushing incident but

was derived from the ’Push yourself’ theme of the wider campaign.



The ASA has also thrown out a complaint by EasyJet, the cut-price

airline, which claimed a Virgin Rail press ad headlined ’QueasyJet’ was

denigrating and insulting.



Virgin told the ASA that the advertising was a response to EasyJet’s

’great train robbery’ campaign.



The Virgin ad, by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, promoted rail

journeys from London to Manchester and Liverpool from pounds 5 each way

with the line: ’Not everyone appreciates our low fares.’



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