Van den Bergh Foods has been banned from showing a TV ad for its Chicken Tonight brand after viewers complained that it ridiculed the Hindu religion.
Sixteen viewers, all with close links to the Hindu faith, complained to the Independent Television Commission (ITC) about the ad, which shows a woman sitting on a cushion chanting “Om, dina Om” to a ready-to-cook chicken on the floor in front of her.
The complainants said the commercial, created by J Walter Thompson, ridiculed their religion by using a Hindu prayer to advertise a meat sauce when some factions of the faith forbid the eating of meat, according to the ITC transcript. The food giant said it had taken the ad off air as soon as it became aware of the problem but the ITC has ordered the company not to repeat the commercial.
An ad for Kronenbourg 1664 beer also attracted complaints from 60 viewers for being “offensive and in poor taste”.
The commercial, created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/ Y&R, showed a series of men being distracted by an attractive girl with potentially fatal consequences.
But the ITC did not uphold the complaints, arguing that matters of taste are outside its remit, unless an ad causes widespread or serious offence.
The ITC also refused to uphold 39 complaints about an ad for Miller Genuine Draft, which showed music band Fun Lovin’ Criminals drinking beer in the back of a car.
The viewers complained that the ad, created by Rainey Kelly, encouraged drink driving and should not have been allowed to run at the same time as the Government’s anti-drink-driving campaign.