ITC blasts Heineken’s ‘funeral’ ad

The ITC has upheld 88 viewer complaints about a Heineken ad which shows a series of workmen working in the same hole in the ground. Viewers have been offended by the arrival of an undertaker towards the end of the ad and the implication that he may use the hole for a burial.

Heineken parent Whitbread has agreed to amend the Lowe Howard-Spink ad. All complainants said they felt the ad was in poor taste.

Twenty viewers complained about an Adidas ad starring David Beckham through Leagas Delaney. The ad showed a teacher attempting to convince the Manchester United footballer not to pursue a career in football, but to consider more serious options like the police force. The ad ends with the words “career guidance not necessary”.

The ITC decided not to uphold the complaints from teachers and career guidance organisations, which claimed the ads were a bad example to the young. It felt the ad would be taken by the target audience as a positive statement about football.

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