Tango’s new TV ads have angered top Conservatives over their swipe at Conservative sleaze and a seeming reference to the death of MP Stephen Milligan.
The new Orange Tango ad contains hidden messages ridiculing each of the major political parties.
Flavours of Tango are used to represent each party. Apple becomes the Conservatives – with references to the Tory sleaze scandals which have dogged John Major’s election campaign.
A Tango spokesman is seen entering a living room, flashing a family photograph to camera then dismissing the Tories as “maggoted perverts, claiming family values for kicks”.
The image is a clear reference to Major’s ill-fated attempt to champion family values against a background of sleaze. But Tango, say insiders, has taken the joke too far. On the living room floor of the home, a man is seen kneeling in a paddling pool, clad in rubber wetsuit, balaclava and wrapped in cling film.
Tango says no link is intentional, but the image is uncomfortably close to the circumstances surrounding the death of Milligan, who was found suffocated and trussed up last year.
“We are just promoting British humour. We are not looking to cause any offence,” insists a Tango spokesman. “This is just tongue-in-cheek.”
Guinness was forced to withdraw a press ad earlier this year, which seemingly featured references to Milligan’s death.
Coca-Cola is taking a surreal angle with its 15m relaunch of Fanta next week through Leagas Delaney. It shows how Fanta’s arrival in far-flung corners of the globe brightens up life. Fanta has a 0.3 per cent share of the 1.7bn UK non-mixer carbonate market, compared with Tango’s 6.5 per cent.