Five US ‘anti-American’ campaign triggers complaints to ASA

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A provocative teaser campaign for the launch of digital channel Five US has triggered a raft of complaints claiming the ads are derogatory to America.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received 35 complaints about the advertising, which features the strapline "Nothing good ever came out of America". The campaign was first revealed on Marketingweek.co.uk.

Some people claim that the advertising undermines the relationship between the UK and the US and that the phrase is derogatory to America and Americans.

However, a spokesman for RTL-owned Five, urges people not to jump to conclusions. A series of reveals will launch later this week.

The spokesman says: "People should wait to see the whole campaign, which makes it clear. We are looking to call people’s attention to what is good about US television."

He denies the intention was to trigger complaints to the ASA.

The second stage of the campaign follows with the line "Who says nothing good ever came out of America? The new channel from Five showcasing the best of the US". It will star personalities including Spike Lee, William H Macy, Susan Sarandon and Brad Pitt.

The channel launches on Freeview on October 16. A sister channel, Five Life, launches a day earlier and an estimated 6m is being spent promoting the two channels. It is the first time a broadcaster has engineered simultaneous digital launches.

Marketing director Jane Scott says Five US has been positioned as "slick" Americana rather than "cheesy and junk foody".

Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest has developed the campaigns and media planning and buying has been handled by Vizeum.

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