McCain pizza commercial breaches Advertiser Code of Ethics, ASB releases it decision
The Australian Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has decided a McCain pizza advertisement is in breach of the Advertiser Code of Ethics.
The ASB said the television advertisement is in breach of Section 2.6 of the Code as it could be interpreted as condoning stealing.
The 30 second commercial sees a man steal a pizza from a delivery driver so he can conduct a blind test taste against McCain’s new “Takeaway” frozen pizza range. The pizza is stolen from the back of the delivery vehicle whilst an accomplice distracts the driver by dancing in front of him.
The complainant further objected to a later part in the advertisement which sees one of the men attempt to high-five another man after the taste-test. He misses and his hand connects with the man’s face instead. The complainant interpreted this incident as punching and portraying punching as acceptable behaviour.
ASB dismissed this part of the complaint saying there was no harm portrayed and the advertisement was using humour.
Section 2.6 complaint upheld despite the use of slapstick humour
McCain initially responded to the complaint saying the advertisement did not condone stealing. It said the advertisement used “slapstick” humour and it believed the majority of people would find it humorous rather than offensive.
The ASB however upheld the complaint saying that stealing from a delivery person is a realistic event and the majority of people would view the scene in question as breaking the law
“As this particular activity – stealing from a pizza delivery person – is an actual crime, this portrayal in the advertisement may be seen to condone stealing,” the ASB said.
In response to the ASB’s decision McCain said it can confirm the commercial is no longer scheduled for free-to-air television and will not appear again in its current form. It said a 15 second version of the advertisement which did not breach the code would continue to air.