Thomson’s Simon the Ogre ad escapes ban

Thomson has escaped an ad ban for its controversial “Simon the Ogre” television campaign despite almost 100 complaints it trivialised disability.

The ad (see above) told the story of how a Thomson holiday restores “Simon the Ogre” – an oversized man with a facial disfigurement and horns- to his regular self.

The Advertising Standards Authority received 93 complaints from people claiming the spot was offensive to people with facial and physical disfigurements and that it trivialised disability. However, the campaign will not face an ad ban because the ASA has decided against launching a formal investigation.

A spokeswoman for the ad watchdog says: “After carefully considering complaints about the Thomson Ogre ad we’ve decided there were not grounds for formal investigation, on that basis we’ve closed the case.”

News of the complaints prompted several Marketing Week readers to leave comments supporting the ad. One, Beer Coup, said: “What a ridiculous supposition. The title of the story-telling ad is clear from the outset….. Anyone who thinks this advertisement trivialises disability should send some letters of complaints to DreamWorks for their Shrek quadrilogy.”

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