EasyJet and Cussons face ASA probe over offensive ads

An EasyJet advertising campaign showing a man sunbathing on a beach and the tagline: “Tell the boss to stick it… where the sun don’t shine” has triggered complaints for being offensive.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is investigating the complaints.This is not the first time that the no-frills airline, known for its cheeky advertising campaigns, has prompted complaints. Last year it used Major Charles Ingram and his wife, Diana, who were found guilty of fraud in the television programme Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in an advertising campaign. It used the strapline: “Need a cheap gataway?… No Major fraud required!” The ad, however, escaped censure (MW October 9).

Controversy has also been sparked by PZ Cussons’ Carex soap brand. The ASA has upheld a complaint against the company for making a misleading claim about distinguishing between good and bad bacteria. The ad features two kittens, one of which has eyes and large teeth drawn over its face and labelled “Bad bacteria”; the other is labelled “Good bacteria”.

At the bottom of the ad, it says: “Carex knows the difference. Look at your hands. You can’t see the good and bad bacteria, let alone tell them apart. But thankfully, Carex can.”

The advertisement was created by BDH/TBWA.

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