Ogilvy and Mather has been forced to re-edit its ad for the Ford Probe
because it could possibly trigger epilepsy.
The Independent Television Commission upheld complaints against the
Probe ad after a viewer claimed that sequences of flashing lights in the
commercial had triggered an epileptic seizure.
After examination, the ITC found that the ad did not comply with
technical guidelines, despite being cleared for broadcast by the
Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre. The BACC said that the ad was
not checked because it was not considered likely to pose a problem.
The ITC upheld the viewer’s complaint in its latest advertising
complaints report and the spot has now been replaced by a re-edited
version to avoid prompting further seizures.
St Luke’s latest work for Ikea also came under fire in the report,
attracting 23 complaints from viewers who deemed the ad offensive.
The commercial shows housewives throwing out their old furniture and
replacing it with Ikea products. The strapline, ‘Chuck out your chintz’,
attracted accusations of sexism and patronisation of women.
Some viewers complained that it was irresponsible to encourage such
waste and that the ad was offensive to those who liked chintz. The ITC,
however, felt that the ad was unlikely to have offended most viewers.
There were also complaints about BMP DDB’s ad for Walkers Crisps, which
features Gary Lineker disguised as a number of ordinary people who try
to steal a child’s crisps. Many found the tone inappropriate in the
light of recent child abductions and murders, and one viewer claimed
that her six-year-old had been upset by the ad.
The ITC, however, took a different line. BMP assured it that the ad had
caused no disquiet when it had been shown to focus groups of children
and the ITC concluded that children were unlikely to find it disturbing.