"Racist" Cravendale ads escape ban

LONDON - Ads promoting the purity of Cravendale milk escaped a ban after the Advertising Standards Authority received 11 complaints that they were racist.

The TV and magazine ads, created by Wieden & Kennedy, showed a black-and-white bull and cow whose black patches had been removed in an effort to purify the milk they were producing.

Eleven people found the ads offensive and complained that the message in both the TV and magazine ads could be construed as racist.

Arla Foods, the manufacturer of Cravendale, said the cows in the ads were used as a metaphor for milk and that the message in the ads was intended to communicate the unique filtration process used by Cravendale to remove bacterial impurities.

They felt that the cartoon style and comedic traits of the Cravendale ads made it clear that the environment was surreal.

The ASA acknowledged that the ads were part of a cartoon-style series. The watchdog felt that viewers would understand that the black-and-white bull and cow in the ads were intended as a metaphor for milk and were unlikely to interpret the visual representation of purification as being racist.