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Take A Break spot is banned after 318 complaints

LONDON - A television commercial for Take A Break magazine, created by Mustoes, drew 318 complaints from the public before it was withdrawn from the airwaves and subsequently banned.

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People objected to the spot degrading the elderly and denigrating social services and because the subject of the joke was "profoundly offensive".

The advertisement showed the driver of a meals-on-wheels van parked outside a block of flats. A voiceover said: "Whatever you're doing it can wait -- while you Take a Break."

The driver continued to read the magazine, published by H Bauer, while an elderly lady sat in her flat staring bleakly at an empty plate, waiting for her meal to be delivered.

The ad was withdrawn voluntarily by the agency, after the volume of complaints received by the Independent Television Commission, with the BACC, which clears ads for broadcast, saying that it would not have cleared the spot if it had anticipated the strong reaction.

The BACC that it "accepted that the disappointment of an elderly person was not a suitable subject for humour and that this lesson would be borne in mind in future".

The ITC said that the commercial made light of the fear and loneliness of some of society's most vulnerable members, and said that the ad could not be retransmitted in its current form.

However, the broadcast watchdog rejected complaints over Marmite's "lifeguard kiss" spot, with 71 viewers complaining that it portrayed a homosexual act and was unsuitable for broadcast at times when children might be watching.

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