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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 June 2007, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Ban on rerun of eggs TV advert
Tony Hancock
Comedian Tony Hancock featured in the advertisement

Reruns of a TV commercial from the 1950s which urged viewers to "go to work on an egg" have been banned.

An advertising watchdog said the slogan went against the principle of eating a varied diet.

The Egg Information Service had wanted to screen the advert, which featured comedian Tony Hancock, to celebrate its 50th birthday.

Author Fay Weldon, who headed the team which came up with the slogan, has described the decision as absurd.

"When you think of what can be run and what is being run, like low-cost airlines and cars - cars kill, eggs aren't actually likely to do so," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Dietary considerations have been at the centre of the new rules for advertising
Kristoffer Hammer

She said she was proud of the adverts and remembered how Hancock was reluctant to take part.

"He hated doing them, he felt it was a great comedown, he didn't want to do them and did them as a kind of mockery.

"I sat in the studio listening to him moaning and complaining, so we just wrote what he wanted.

"One of them said 'I hate doing this advertisement' - we just thought the truth might work best."

'Accepted advice'

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) defended its decision, insisting that the adverts did not suggest a varied diet.

BACC spokesman Kristoffer Hammer said: "Dietary considerations have been at the centre of the new rules for advertising and in consideration of this we felt that these adverts did not suggest a varied diet.

"The concept of eating eggs every day for breakfast goes against what is now the generally accepted advice of a varied diet and we therefore could not approve the ads for broadcast."

British Egg Information Service spokesperson Amanda Cryer said: "We have been shocked by this ruling as eggs are a healthy, natural food which are recommended by nutritionists."

"What's more, there are no restrictions on the number of eggs people can eat, which was recently confirmed by the Food Standards Agency, and between five and seven eggs a week would be totally acceptable for most people."

Ms Cryer added: "In addition, many other advertisers clearly promote their products to be eaten every day such as breakfast cereals so we are very surprised that eggs have been singled out in this way."

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