The Most Ridiculous Ad Complaint Ever

The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) regularly receives quite a few ridiculous complaints. Thankfully, most of the time they’re dismissed.

But I wanted to test it out myself. And what better way to do so than with this recently released Pure Blonde ad



Here’s how it played out…
23rd November 2010
I submit the following complaint on the ASB website…
“On the weekend just passed I was enjoying a cup of delicious tea while watching some Sunday night programming only to be confronted by an appalling commercial for Pure Blonde beer.

I am sure I am not alone when I say winged-horse enthusiasts like myself will be outraged at the disgusting lack of treatment regarding the magnificent animal in this commercial. The rare creature is clearly depicted in distress and suggests it is later physically harmed or, god forbid, killed. While some consider these beautiful beasts nothing but mythical, this ad supports animal cruelty for those of us who know the truth and it must be taken off the air.”

24th November 2010
The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Adjudication Panel dismisses the complaint regarding any breaches of the ABAC Code.

13th December 2010
The complaint is scheduled for submission to the ASB for a potential breach of Section 2 of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics.

2nd February 2011
After consideration, the ASB dismisses the complaint and issues the following response…

“At the time of writing this, the commercial had been on national television for over 3 weeks and has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. In relation to the complaint […] we’d just like to state that no harm to the ‘Pegasus’ (a mythical horse that has wings – brought to life here through special effects) is depicted. Whilst the horse is clearly startled when the mountain starts to crumble – as are the humans featured – and does move with the mountain as it gives way, the horse does not come to any physical harm in the commercial.

In addition to this, given the horse has wings it’s completely reasonable to extrapolate that it flew away to safety.”

“This is the only complaint of its kind that we have received.”

I can’t believe it’s someone’s job to waste their time considering and responding to people like me.
  • Kate
    Posted at February 2, 2011 7:34pm, 02 February Reply

    haha dear god zac!!! thats hilarious! i love you sometimes(SOMETIMES)…I also love how eloquently written their response was as if they were genuinely trying to reassure you that the pegasus was ok!

  • Stan Lee
    Posted at February 2, 2011 8:16pm, 02 February Reply

    That's brilliant Zac.
    I totally respect their use of Pegasus in their response. Nice attention to detail.
    I had a bus-side ad banned once. I was so proud I put it on the opening page of my folio.

  • charleswinston
    Posted at February 2, 2011 9:04pm, 02 February Reply

    wait so Pegasus is ok right?

  • Adam Jaffrey
    Posted at February 3, 2011 1:41am, 03 February Reply

    I love: "… given the horse has wings it's completely reasonable to extrapolate that it flew away to safety."

    What about the mesmerisingly attractive woman who falls to her peril?

  • Andy B
    Posted at February 3, 2011 9:47am, 03 February Reply

    I'm glad that you've learnt something from my ridiculous letter writing campaigns.

  • Josh Strawczynski
    Posted at February 3, 2011 9:51am, 03 February Reply

    lol, very good Zacery

  • cale
    Posted at February 4, 2011 4:41pm, 04 February Reply

    im astroturfin … whatever that means zac

  • bianca
    Posted at February 5, 2011 6:28pm, 05 February Reply

    funny funny funny thats a good one zac i like it

  • Anonymous
    Posted at May 24, 2011 2:09pm, 24 May Reply

    I can't believe so many people read this blog.

    This guy is a tool.

  • jim
    Posted at June 28, 2011 12:35pm, 28 June Reply

    This is so awesome.

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