Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A TV ad for Extra chewing gum, seen in September 2017, featured a young woman stood in a football kit on a football pitch whilst chewing, appearing 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.”
The ASA received two complaints:
1. One complainant challenged whether the ad condoned or encouraged a dangerous practice.
2. One complainant challenged whether the ad featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate.
The Wrigley Company Ltd t/a Wrigleys Extra supported Clearcast’s comments, who said that, although the ad depicted a woman chewing gum preparing to take a penalty, they considered the ad was acceptable as it did not depict her in full motion whilst chewing gum, and instead showed her stationary.
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA noted the ad depicted a young woman on a football pitch in what appeared to be a five-a-side football game. We considered this was a common and recognisable setting that many viewers, including children, would be familiar with, and accordingly would be easy for them to emulate the scene depicted in the ad. We noted the ad was for chewing gum and placed a prominent focus on the woman chewing gum in the ad. Although she was depicted stationary, we considered it was clear that she was about to run and take a penalty kick, and suggested she had already been chewing gum during the game. We considered the voice-over, “But her legs are trembling, not yours. Time to shine. Extra” condoned and encouraged chewing gum while playing sports.
We understood there had been several reported incidents of people choking on gum whilst playing sports. 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.
The ad BCAP Code rules,
Advertisements must not include material that is likely to condone or encourage behaviour that prejudices health or safety.
(Harm and offence),
Advertisements must not condone, encourage or unreasonably feature behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate. Advertisements must not implicitly or explicitly discredit established safety guidelines. Advertisements must not condone, encourage or feature children going off alone or with strangers.
This rule is not intended to prevent advertisements that inform children about dangers or risks associated with potentially harmful behaviour. (Children).
The ad must not be shown again in its current form. We told The Wrigley Company Ltd not to show people chewing gum while playing sport in any future ads.