These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Advertising Standards Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Walkers Crisps (Comic Relief)
Complaint from: 88 viewers
Walkers Crisps produced a Baked Bean version of their product, linked to the Comic Relief charity appeal. Special multipacks contained 'whoopee' cushions. The advertisement showed various well-known performers eating the crisps. Gary Lineker attempted to sneak up on the celebrities only to be repelled each time as they broke wind.
Most complainants objected to what they considered a bad taste portrayal of flatulence. Nine were concerned that children might be encouraged to copy the advertisement.
The advertisement continued the well-established Walker's theme of Gary Lineker as an improbable villain trying to 'steal' crisps. Here, as in many of the other commercials, he failed comically.
Flatulence, however portrayed, will be offensive to some viewers. But the ITC considered that the context and purpose of this commercial would have made widespread offence unlikely. The charitable aims behind the advertising, the good-natured approach of the Walker's campaign generally and the childish humour that characterises Comic Relief all reduced the chances of significant offence.
Complaints not upheld.