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Doom ad not racist says ARB. But why pair Doom and food in the first place?

2 March 2021 8:52 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Advertising
Tiger Brands
Andy Rice
doom insect killer
insecticide
branding
Advertising Regulatory Board
ARB
Doom insecticide

After a complaint, Tiger Brands has added 'don't spray on food' to campaign showing man's meal interrupted by a flying insect.

Is it right that the opinion of just one person could lead to the banning or modification of an advertisement?

Branding and advertising expert Andy Rice explores this issue in the wake of a complaint about a TV campaign for Doom insecticide (Tiger Brands).

RELATED: Windhoek beer ad banned in SA for entrenching 'toxic masculinity'

It features a young man eating pizza while being bugged by a flying insect.

He responds by spraying the offending creature with Doom.

Image: Screengrab from Doom South Africa advert on Facebook

The pizza eater happens to be black and this is what was queried by the complainant.

He whips out the Doom to restore peace in his world, but the impression is given to some people that the spraying of the Doom over or near food, would be considered a very stupid thing to communicate.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

In this case the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) dismissed the complaint, but the advertiser "undertook" to add a disclaimer.

The Complainant queried why the Advertiser elected to use a Black person in their Advertisement, and asked: Why black people because they are 'stupid' enough to use doom on food?

Advertising Regulatory Board

In its response Tiger Brands said the reasonable consumer is aware that Doom is an insecticide and would not interpret the ad to mean that Doom can be sprayed on food.

The advertiser also explained that it elected to use a black person as black people make up 80% of South Africa’s population.

The stupidity appears to be what is ruling the roost here.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

There's a whole genre of 'stupid advice' you'll find attached to brands, like Do Not Iron Garment While Wearing It! This would be much the same: Do Not Spray Insects While You Are Eating Pizza.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

This is the disclaimer that will now be attached to the ad:

DO NOT SPRAY ON FOOD. PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN NOT TO EXPOSE FOOD TO THE PRODUCT.

The significant thing about this ruling, says Rice, is that only one party appears to have complained.

It does seem strange that the power of one person can be considered equal to what is normally the case, which is is the average, sensible, responsible citizen - and there are a lot more than one of those.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

Could the Doom advert have been structured better in any case?

Yes, says Rice, and that's why he rates it his advertising zero of the week.

Listen to the branding expert's analysis on Heroes and Zeros:




2 March 2021 8:52 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Advertising
Tiger Brands
Andy Rice
doom insect killer
insecticide
branding
Advertising Regulatory Board
ARB
Doom insecticide

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