Defiant Poundland cocks a snook at ‘saucy elf’ ad ban

poundlandPoundland hit back at the ad watchdog after being rapped over the knuckles for a double-entendre-laden Christmas campaign, featuring a toy elf in various “sexualised” scenarios, insisting complainants had a “sense of humour failure”. 
The issue was sparked by 85 complaints over the social media campaign, which saw the toy elf posed in a host of different positions, alongside Carry On-style phrases.
These included the elf riding a toy donkey with the caption “tell Rudolph I’ve found a new piece of ass”;  pictured in a basin with two “nude” dolls, “rub-a-dub-dub, three in a tub” and playing strip poker under the line “joker, joker, I really want to poke her”.
However, perhaps the most controversial element of the “Elf Behaving Badly” campaign was a shot of the elf “teabagging” a female figurine. Twinnings, whose products were featured in the image, was boiling mad and publicly distancing itself from the retail chain.
The Advertising Standards Authority was not too chuffed either, noting that despite the use of double entendre in the captions, the campaign used “obvious references to sexual acts” on social channels that were likely to be seen by children.
poundland2It went on to rule that the ads depicted toy figures “in a sexualised manner and appeared in an untargeted medium”, deeming them “likely to cause serious or widespread offence”.
Unbowed by the ban, Poundland created a page on its website including an image of its elf behind bars, and a “letter” from the elf in his its cell.
It reads: “Britain’s the home of saucy postcards, Carry On films and panto, so I’m sad the ASA found my double entendres hard to swallow. At least it’s only 84 people (sic) who had a sense of humour failure compared to the tens of thousands who got the joke and liked and shared my posts online. I’m doing everything I can to be good so I can get out on good behaviour later this year. Love, Elfie x”
The retailer’s press office added: “A large number of people found the campaign to be humourous, engaging and in line with what it meant to be British.”

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