A TV ad for Wrigley’s Extra gum, which featured a woman chewing gum while playing football has been banned over “health and safety” fears that children might end up copying the ad and choke.
In the ad, which ran in September last year, the young woman appeared to be preparing to take a penalty kick. The shots were accompanied by a voice-over which stated: “The goalie has studied every one of your shots. She knows you’re going for her left corner. She even teases you, calling the shot. But her legs are trembling, not yours. Time to shine. Extra.”
But two viewers complained that the Advertising Standards Authority challenging whether the TV spot condoned or encouraged a dangerous practice and featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate.
In response, the Wrigley Company said it supported a response from ad clearance agency Clearcast, which said it considered the ad to be acceptable because it did not show the woman in full motion while masticating.
However, the ASA took a different approach, citing “several reported incidents of people choking on gum while playing sports”. It added: “We therefore considered that chewing gum whilst playing sports was an unsafe practice and one which could be dangerous for children to emulate. As such, because the ad condoned and encouraged chewing gum while playing sport, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”
It ruled that the ad must not be shown again in its current form.
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