ITC over-rules Burger King spot fears

Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners' television spot for Burger King has been accused of condoning domestic violence.

The ad attracted more than 80 viewer complaints to the Independent Television Commission. One came from a police officer who said that biting was a common feature of domestic violence.

A second came from a victim of such an attack. Despite this, the complaints were not upheld.

The ad, for Burger King's Pepperjack Stack, shows a couple lying in bed.

The woman awakes and in a puzzled voice says: "I think I've been bitten." Her back is shown to be covered in human bite marks. Her partner looks at the bites and then turns away guiltily.

The voiceover then says: "Got the urge for a big bite? Try the new Burger King Pepperjack Stack ... got the urge, get to Burger King."

While sympathising with people who had been victims of domestic violence, the ITC did not agree that the ad showed a couple in a violent relationship because the man appeared to have bitten the woman unconsciously in his sleep and that she seemed confused rather than scared by his actions.

The ad also explained that the man was hungry and had an urge for a burger.

The ITC also expressed the view that the majority of viewers would not interpret the ad as a portrayal of domestic violence and that the image of bite marks in the context of the ad would not be seen as condoning domestic abuse.

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