Sainsbury’s Christmas Ad and 5 More Controversial Сommercials That Sparkled Anger or Were Banned

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Today’s society is attentive and easy to be offended so advertisement-makers should be even more creative and hardworking in order to promote the product in the best way and do not lead to ad banning.

Unfortunately, there are still many cases when due to general indignation some advertising campaigns face a wave of criticism and could be even removed from TV and magazines. Nexter.org prepared some of the latest examples. 

Sainsbury’s Christmas Ad

Source: SAINSBURY’S

The supermarket’s ad is basically a two minute version of the school Christmas performance of every teacher’s dreams. Ten-year-old Harrison runs into shot at 1 min and 13 secs into the ad, before launching himself into a socket which lights up a huge Christmas tree on the stage.

Source: SAINSBURY’S

But some people are evidently unhappy with Harrison’s seemingly innocent and amusing acting debut. According to The Drum, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received 35 complaints about the advert on health and safety grounds, with people fearing that the advert may encourage children to play with plugs.

‘New year, new boobs’

Adverts for breast enlargement surgery are leading to a disturbing trend where young women are taking out crippling loans for breast implants. Breast enlargements adverts pop up during shows seemingly aimed at women.

We live in a society where people increasingly define themselves by appearance. If you’re already feeling insecure, the advertising feeds that insecurity and you feel you need to do something about it.

Australian hotel accused of sexism

Source: Twitter / Sofitel

It just looks like a normal advert for the Sofitel hotel in Brisbane, Australia. A lovely couple sitting around in a pair of matching hotel bathrobes eating a delicious continental breakfast in bed.

Turns out the hotel has been forced to take this advert out of all its publicity because some people think that it is sexist.

Firstly, have a quick look at the couple’s differing reading material. The man is reading a copy of the Financial Review, presumably checking in on his stock portfolio, like all men do first thing in the morning.

Other have taken umbrage with the positioning of the aforementioned delicious continental breakfast. As you can see, the man is positioned next to the pastry platter, whereas the woman is nearer the fruit.

A spokesperson for Sofitel Hotels said: “There was no intention of portraying a stereotype, but we recognize it and apologize for any offense that it has caused. The creative has since been pulled from any future communications activity.”

Vodafone’s Martin Freeman break-up advert

A Vodafone advert starring Martin Freeman, in which the actor seems to be breaking up with his partner but is really trying to leave the phone firm, has been banned for being misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the advert implied it was possible for customers to leave a contract at any time.

However, people are only allowed to quit during the initial 30-day period. Vodafone said it would make sure its 30-day rule was clear in its marketing.

In the advert, Freeman’s character says, “I haven’t got the strength to keep arguing with you”, before a few seconds later, adding, “I’m leaving”.

A voice from the phone immediately replies: “You can’t leave, you’re still within your contract.”

A voiceover then states: “Breaking up’s never easy. But unlike other networks, Vodafone has a 30-day service guarantee, so if you don’t love us you can leave us.”

Spotify ad that is so scary it’s been BANNED from Britain

The ad shows a group of friends who cannot stop listening to Camila Cabello’s popular hit song Havana. An investigation was launched by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and it found the ad breached rules of “social responsibility” plus harm and offence.

The song appears to wake up a creepy doll in a dim and dusty room, which is a scene that bears similarities to those in horror films. The doll then ambushes one of the friends in her bedroom at night, leaving the rest of the group to try and not play the song they are addicted to.

In one of the final scenes one friend tries to stop the other from playing the song, but the porcelain-like doll’s hand comes into the frame and presses the play button. The final shot of the ad shows text that reads “killer songs you can’t resist” over the doll’s face.

Philip Morris ‘anti-smoking’ ad

One of the world’s biggest tobacco firms, Philip Morris, has been accused of “staggering hypocrisy” over its new ad campaign that urges smokers to quit.

The Marlboro maker said the move was “an important next step” in its aim to “ultimately stop selling cigarettes”.

But Cancer Research UK said the firm was just trying to promote its smoking alternatives, such as heated tobacco. “This is a staggering hypocrisy,” it said, pointing out the firm still promotes smoking outside the UK.”


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Sainsbury's Christmas Ad and 5 More Controversial Сommercials That Sparkled Anger or Were Banned
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Sainsbury's Christmas Ad and 5 More Controversial Сommercials That Sparkled Anger or Were Banned
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Today's society is attentive and easy to be offended so advertisement-makers should be even more creative and hardworking in order to promote the product in the best way and do not lead to ad banning. Unfortunately, there are still many cases when due to general indignation some advertising campaigns face a wave of criticism and could be even removed from TV and magazines. Nexter.org prepared some of the latest examples. 
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