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McCann Manchester’s Aldi advert deemed “irresponsible” by Advertising Standards Authority


A TV advert promoting Aldi’s spirit range, part of Aldi’s 2017 Christmas campaign, has been retrospectively banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The 20-second spot, starring Kevin the Carrot, has fallen foul of the regulator after it received a complaint from a viewer that it was “likely to have strong appeal to people under 18”.

At the start of the ad, which was created by McCann Manchester, Kevin declared: “I see dead parsnips” before a voice-over continued: “Kevin was feeling a little bit tense. He thought there were spirits. He had a sixth sense. As it turned out his instincts were right. There were a few spirits that cold Christmas night. Award winning bottles for raising a toast and one frightened carrot had just seen a ghost.”

The ad ended with Kevin being frightened by a character dressed up as a ghost.

The ASA agreed with the complainant and ruled that the ad was “irresponsible”.

Its judgement read: “We considered that Kevin the Carrot appeared to be childlike and had a high-pitched voice, similar to that of a young child. Furthermore, we understood Kevin was sold as a soft toy during the Christmas period and was popular amongst under 18-year-olds, particularly young children. We therefore considered that Kevin was likely to have strong appeal to audiences under the age of 18.”

It added: “Although the content of the dialogue and poem, which made use of a pun on “spirits”, was not typical content for children, we considered the tone was reminiscent of a children’s story, therefore it was likely to resonate with and strongly appeal to younger children.”

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We believe the content of this specific advert appealed to adults rather than children. The advert was also subject to broadcast restrictions so that it did not appear adjacent to any programmes aimed at under-18s.

“Nevertheless we will abide by the Advertising Standards Agency’s ruling on this matter.”

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