Red Bull Titanic ad escapes censure

Red Bull has escaped censure from the advertising watchdog over a controversial campaign some viewers felt made light of the lives lost in the sinking of the Titanic by implying they could have survived if they consumed the energy drink.

Red Bull Titanic ad

The TV ad, which drew 147 complaints, featured crates of the energy drink being loaded onto a ship, prompting the captain to query: “why on earth would you need wings on a ship?”. It was then revealed the ship in the spot was “The Titanic”.

Complainants said the reference to the Titanic was “offensive” and “inappropriate” given the fact that more than 1,500 people died during the disaster.

The founder of the Titanic Heritage Trust, Howard Nelson, was among the viewers offended by the ad. He said the spot was “disrespectful” and “blatantly offensive”.

The Advertising Standards Authority said although the ad would be “distasteful to some”, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or generally be seen as making light of the deaths caused by the disaster.

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