Mums’ favourite Peter Andre might have some explaining to do the next time he goes to Iceland after the retailer was blasted by the ad watchdog for promoting a wine brand called Fat Bastard in a bungled mailshot campaign.
The two mailings advertised a money-off voucher for the brand and stated “Outrageous name, outrageously good wine”. But it was the targeting of the missive which did not go down well, after they were delivered to households in October and November last year – with one even ending up at a primary school.
The mailshot triggered a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority; they believed the language used was likely to cause serious or widespread office and that it might be seen by children.
In its defence, Iceland did acknowledge the brand name might be controversial but claimed it had no control over that. The firm did not say why it had chosen to pick that particular brand for an untargeted medium, however, simply explaining that it was based on a story in which, when first tasting the wine, the winemaker exclaimed that it was a “fat bastard” due to its full-bodied nature.
Iceland even suggested that four complaints out of a total door-drop of 175,000 households backed up its view that the ad did not cause widespread offence.
However, the retailer did concede that children might see the mailing and said it would ensure ads for the product would be placed on the inner pages of such leaflets in future.
Iceland also said it had given strict instructions to the door-drop company that they should only be delivered to residential addresses. It claimed the distribution company had taken responsibility for that error and taken steps to ensure it did not happen again. It is not known which company was responsible.
The ASA ruled that while the mailing was unlikely to cause widespread offence, it had been irresponsibly distributed so that children may see it.
Banning the mailing from running again in its current form, the ASA concluded: “We considered that the references to ‘Fat Bastard’ were unsuitable to be seen by young children and should not have featured on the outside covers of the circulars.”
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