Lee and Dan in more trouble over viral ads

Lee and Dan, the creative team behind the spoof Volkswagen suicide bomber viral ad, are under fire for another spoof viral ad, this time for Unilever Bestfoods’ Pot Noodle brand, which uses a racist term.

The Pot Noodle viral ad shows a kettle being filled with tap-water. The word “Pikey” is superimposed over the image, which then cuts to a “Pot Noodle Spring Water” bottle with the slogan “Respect the Pot Noodle”.

A spokeswoman for the Commission for Racial Equality says Pikey is a racially abusive term referring to the Irish traveller community.

Unilever Bestfoods says it has nothing to do with the film. A spokesman says: “We are investigating the situation and will take further action if we think it is appropriate.”

Meanwhile, a Volkswagen UK spokesman says the car giant is outraged by Lee and Dan’s suicide-bombing spoof, in which an apparently Middle Eastern man in a VW Polo sets off explosives strapped to his body in an attempt to blow up an outdoor café. The explosion is confined within the car, however. The viral ends with the VW slogan “Polo. Small but tough”.

The VW spokesman says: “Neither we nor our agencies had anything to do with it. We are quite upset and are taking legal action against the initiators.”

Lee Ford of Lee and Dan told Marketing Week in an e-mail that both “ads” were purely speculative work, never intended for public consumption.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here