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.
Irn Bru – baby
Complaint from: 53 viewers
An advertisement showed a midwife trying to coax a baby out of its mother’s womb with a can of Irn Bru. Suddenly, the baby's hand appeared, grabbed the can and could be heard opening it and drinking the contents. The empty can then shot out of the mother and into a rubbish bin. A television monitor showed the baby burp.
Eight viewers complained that the advertisement was unsuitable for children because it showed a woman in labour, five viewers believed it trivialised childbirth and could be upsetting to pregnant women or those who experienced difficulties during pregnancy. Another viewer, who had recently lost her baby, found the advertisement distressing and believed other women in her position would too. The remaining viewers objected to the advertisement on grounds of taste.
The ITC considered that any image of childbirth could be upsetting for viewers with personal experience of difficult pregnancies and/or labour and sympathised with the viewer who had lost her baby. However, in this instance, it did not believe that viewers generally were likely to associate such a far-fetched portrayal of childbirth with real-life experience.
It appreciated that some viewers found the material distasteful but there was no evidence to suggest that it had caused serious or widespread offence.
With regard to complaints about children seeing the advertisement, the ITC considered that scenes involving childbirth were common in family viewing time and therefore the material shown in this advertisement was consistent with what viewers might expect to see on early evening television. Accordingly, it judged that the 'ex-kids' restriction imposed by the BACC was sufficient.
Complaints not upheld.