- Pot Noodle's latest commercial has come under fire from viewers because of its portrayal of sado masochism, according to the latest Independent Television Commission's TV Advertising Complaints report.
The HHCL & Partners ad, which attracted complaints from 56 viewers, is set in a prison and shows a male prisoner challenged by a sadistic female warder for flouting prison rules by eating Pot Noodles.
The prisoner is then seen being punished, doing press-ups naked in the prison yard while the warder pushes his face into the ground with her boot.
Most of the complaints objected to the implied sado masochism and the overt sexual nature of the ad. There was a general feeling that the ad should only be shown in the late evening, while a number of viewers felt that the commercial was derogatory to men.
The ITC found that the ad had originally been broadcast without a timing restriction and upheld complaints on the scheduling of the ad around children's programming. However, cut-down versions of the ad were allowed without time restrictions and the ITC felt the other complaints did not justify the removal of the commercial.
As reported in Campaign (6 March), VNU's Computer Active magazine fell foul of 243 viewers with its launch ad, created by the Edge, showing a dog apparently copulating with a man's leg. Although the BACC had restricted the ad from screening in and around children's programming, the ITC felt that a 9pm timing restriction was more appropriate and upheld the complaints on this ground.
Ogilvy & Mather was also criticised by the ITC for a Ford Mondeo ad which stated: "All Mondeos now come with a quick, clear windscreen, CD player and air conditioning as standard." In smaller text at the bottom were the words: "Excludes Mondeo Aspen and Verona."
Three viewers and one trading standard officer complained, but by the time the ITC had completed its investigation, the tactical ad had completed its run. The ITC ruled that it must not return.