Complaints Reports

Television Advertising Complaints Reports

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.

Fosters - don't lose your head

Complaint from: 184 viewers

Background

An advertisement for Fosters beer featured camcorder footage, with commentary, of 'Big Doug' doing a bungee jump over a river. As his head entered the water a crocodile bit it off and the apparently headless body, arms waving, swung around on the rope. The commentary said: 'Oh, that's going to hurt. Crikey, that's going to hurt in the morning, son.' The advertisement ended with the voice-over: 'New Fosters hit tap. Don't lose your head.'

Issue

The majority of complainants said they were startled by the advertisement and found it in bad taste. Some parents said they did not wish their children to see it and a small number of children were upset by it. Parents also objected to the scheduling of the advertisement during a screening of the film Jurassic Park, and during Formula 1 racing. Some viewers said the camcorder-style adopted recalled programmes like You've Been Framed and made them believe that the incident was real.

Assessment

The ITC noted that the BACC had applied the usual scheduling restrictions to this alcohol advertisement. This meant that it would not be shown in or around children's programmes. It was thought suitable for a general audience at other times, including during Jurassic Park, which uses similar elements of surprise and far more realistic and gory effects. The commentary was clearly humorous, as was the slogan: 'Don't lose your head' applied to a beer. The idea of a decapitation during a bungee jump might be startling but the actual images were not graphic, bloody or realistic. Nor were they in close-up. Whilst recognising that the humour used would not suit all tastes the ITC concluded that the existing scheduling restrictions were adequate.

Conclusion

Complaints not upheld.