Dog breath ad finally pulled after record complaints
LONDON - The Wrigley's Xcite 'dog breath' advertisement has been pulled from TV after a record number of viewers, totalling more than 600, complained that the spot, which shows a man regurgitating a dog, was upsetting children and making them feel sick.
Within 10 days of the ad's launch, the Independent Television Commission received 663-plus complaints about the spot, which was created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and promotes Wrigley's Xcite chewing gum.
It shows a young man waking up with his head lying in a kebab. As he sits up, two paws come out of this mouth and, with a scratchy noise, a whole dog jumps out and stands in his lounge looking at him. He then eats a quantity of Xcite and the dog disappears, while his girlfriend comes down the stairs and kisses him good morning. It finishes with the endline "Avoid dog breath".
The ad is part of the "get away with it" campaign for Xcite, promoting the abilities of Xcite chewing gum to hide evidence of bad behaviour.
Wrigley has issued a statement about the ad, saying: "While this campaign was enjoyed by the vast majority of people, it was only intended to run for a limited time. However, we have taken the decision to replace the advertisement slightly earlier due to the concerns of some viewers.
"We apologise to any viewer who may have been offended by the advertisement. However, our intention was, and remains, to communicate the benefits of the Xcite brand in an impactful and engaging manner."
Originally the ad was cleared by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, with the stipulation it should not be screened during children's programmes. After a furore over the spot last week, it was moved to after the watershed, but over the weekend it has been pulled from the airwaves completely.
It is the second ad in recent weeks that has prompted such a high number of complaints. At the end of last month, an ad for H Bauer's magazine Take a Break was banned after 318 complaints from the public. The ad showed a meals-on-wheels driver keeping an old lady waiting while she reads a magazine.
In the ad, a voiceover said: "Whatever you're doing, it can wait while you Take a Break". The old woman was left waiting in her bleak kitchen, an empty plate in front of her, for her meal to be delivered. The ITC was later forced to admit that the ad should never have gone on air.
The ITC is yet to adjudicate on the Wrigley's "dog breath" ad.
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