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Sunday, 16 April, 2000, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Redheads riled by adverts
Chris Evans
Chris Evans would not be amused
A gas supplier which tried to ginger up its marketing campaign by poking fun at redheads has sparked a series of complaints to advertising watchdogs.

The Advertising Standards Authority is considering criticism of an advert for npower featuring a ginger-haired family beside the slogan: "There are some things in life you can't choose".

A spokesman for the company said it had not meant to offend redheads, but was merely trying to use humour to show that people could change their gas supplier.

The 6m billboard and newspaper campaign also features the same slogan alongside a distressed-looking man contemplating the contents of his underpants.

'Born ginger'

An ASA spokesman said: "Generally, the letters of complaint have stated that you are born ginger and it's not really right to pick on someone for that reason."

The ASA is to consider whether the humour of the adverts outweighs the potential offence caused to ginger-haired people before issuing its judgment.

Ken Livingstone
Ginger jibe led to funding windfall for Ken Livingstone
The complaints come hot on the heels of hair-raising outrage caused by London mayoral candidate Frank Dobson last month.

Following news that ginger-haired Chris Evans, head of the production company Ginger Media Group, had donated 100,000 to Ken Livingstone's campaign, the Labour candidate made disparaging remarks about redheads.

Mr Dobson said after he heard of the windfall: "I am somewhat relieved really because my mum always told me to steer clear of redheads."

His remarks provoked the DJ to double his donation to 200,000.

See also:

22 Mar 00 | e-cyclopedia
15 Mar 00 | Politics
20 Mar 00 | Politics
06 Mar 00 | Politics
06 Mar 00 | Politics
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