Page last updated at 23:42 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 00:42 UK

Cactus Kid advert ordered off air

Cactus Kid advert
The Cactus Kid advert was in the style of an American road movie

A television campaign for a fruit drink which showed a girl running away from home with her new "cactus" boyfriend has been ordered off the air.

The Advertising Standards Authority, which received 32 complaints, said the commercials for Oasis fruit drink were "offensive" and "irresponsible".

Viewers complained the adverts condoned teenage pregnancy and under-age sex.

The drink's manufacturers, Coca-Cola, said the commercials were removed from reality and were cleared for broadcast.

It also said that the advert had been scheduled away from children's programmes.

The two commercials featured a character called The Cactus Kid, who was green, covered in spikes and did not like water.

His pregnant girlfriend was shown having a row with her mother before the couple sped away in a car in the style of an American road movie.

It was irresponsible and could discourage good dietary practice
Advertising Standards Authority

The end-slogan was: "Oasis - for people who don't like water."

But the ASA said the two commercials broke its code and must not be shown again in their current form.

The ASA said although Cactus Girl was not under-age, many viewers may have regarded her as being in her early teens.

It said: "We also considered that the combination of her youthful appearance and the reference to her pregnancy meant [the advert] could be interpreted to condone under-age sex and teenage pregnancy."

'Adult audience'

The ASA noted the advert "was intended to promote choice and to use humour to depict Cactus Kid's preference for Oasis".

But it added: "Because Oasis contained added sugar and the ad suggested water was being rejected by a young girl who drank Oasis as a replacement, we concluded it was irresponsible and could discourage good dietary practice."

A spokesman for Coca-Cola GB said: "We are disappointed that the complaints against the Oasis Cactus Kid campaign have been upheld by the ASA as the content-rich campaign has been a huge hit with the target audience.

"We ensured that advertising standards were met as we planned the campaign and the ads were approved by Clearcast, in line with their guidelines.

"The subsequent media buying was highly targeted towards an adult audience and fell within Ofcom restrictions."

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