St John Ambulance ad escapes ban

A controversial St John Ambulance television advertisement showing a man choking to death has avoided censure despite attracting almost 150 complaints that it is “offensive and distressing”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC7zfgCXQFs

The spot, which launched in September, encourages people to learn first aid. It claims as any people die in situations where first aid could have helped saved their lives as die from cancer each year in a bid to

The two-minute spot, created by BBH, shows the story of a man that survives cancer following treatment but then dies from choking at a family party because no one knows first aid.

A total of 144 people complained the ad was distressing and offensive to people with cancer.

The Advertising Standards Authority, however, has decided not to launch a formal investigation. The post 9pm scheduling coupled with the need to use hard-hitting images to communicate the ad’s serious message meant the shock tactics were justified, according to an ASA spokesman.

Emma Sheppard, head of PR at St John Ambulance, says: “We created this campaign to get people talking about first aid but we wanted to do this in a responsible way, for instance, working with Cancer Research on the cancer journey and airing the ad after 9pm, so we’re pleased the ASA agrees.”

Recommended

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber


    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now