Shark baits ASA with fresh campaign

Shark AG, the company behind energy drink Shark, has appointed Bite London to create its September poster campaign. The company is appealing against the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling which banned four previous poster ads.

The original posters were created by Tequila/London and depicted the naked bodies of men and women, featuring bruises and bites with the straplines “Shark attack” and “Bring out the beast”. The images appeared on London Underground and as posters and bus ads in Birmingham.

The ASA ruled that the posters “could be seen to condone sexual violence” and that it “considered the posters were sexually explicit” in May. The ASA took action after receiving 12 complaints (MW July 4).

Shark AG’s UK manager Sylvia Marks says: “We are in the process of appealing against the ASA’s decision to ban the Shark Stimulation posters. We believe the ruling was unfair and that we have a strong case.

“A mere 12 complaints is not representative of the general public’s opinion. We have had a huge amount of support from the public.”

Shark AG is pressing on with a poster campaign for September after appointing Bite London following a pitch. Manning Gottlieb OMD has retained the media planning and buying account. A spokeswoman for Shark says the new executions could be based on the original concept.

Bite London is still seeking to resolve a dispute over its name with PR company Bite Communications.

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