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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 04:29 GMT 05:29 UK
Advert spitting complaints upheld
Fanta ad screen shot
Children might see the advert as fun to copy, the ASA ruled
A drink advert which provoked hundreds of complaints because it showed people spitting should not be shown before 9pm, the advertising watchdog has said.

The Advertising Standards Authority received 272 complaints about the Fanta Z advert, calling it "disgusting".

The ad shows people spitting out Fanta Light, which a voice-over explains does not taste as good as the new Fanta Z.

The ASA said it was concerned young children would see the spitting as fun and easy to copy.

Coca-Cola, which makes Fanta Z, said the advert was not meant to be offensive.

It agreed to amend the 40-second commercial's media scheduling to comply with the ASA's ruling.

Spitting is widely perceived as anti-social and we could understand why viewers would not want to see children copying this behaviour
ASA

The advert shows a young couple spitting out Fanta Light during a beach picnic, followed by other people acting in a similar way.

The voice-over says: "We all liked the idea of Fanta Light, but not everyone liked the taste. Goodbye Fanta Light, hello Fanta Z. Real Fanta taste, zero added sugar."

Several complainants claimed children had mimicked the advert.

After investigating the complaints, the ASA said it was concerned young children would see the spitting as fun and easy to copy.

It said: "Spitting is widely perceived as anti-social and we could understand why viewers would not want to see children copying this behaviour."

"Ironic"

But it did not uphold objections about the advert's health and safety implications.

It ruled the commercial's "highly stylised" content was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Coca-Cola said its target audience was 16 to 24-year-olds who would understand its "ironic" message.

In a statement given after the ruling, it said it welcomed the ASA's "recognition that the Fanta Z advert creative, which focuses on turning a series of classic drinking scenarios on its head, is clearly fictitious".

The latest row follows the ASA's rejection last month of complaints about a KFC advert which showed people singing with their mouths full.

More than 1,600 people complained about the KFC commercial for the fast food chain's Zinger Crunch Salad, saying it encouraged bad manners.

But in that case the ASA ruled it was unlikely to promote bad manners among children.


SEE ALSO:
Dixons discount advert under fire
24 May 05 |  Business
Ban for 'gun glamour' Reebok ad
17 May 05 |  London



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