Thomson ad accused of trivialising disability

Thomson’s new year campaign has been accused of being offensive to disabled people.

Video: Thomson “Simon the Ogre” TV ad

The ad (see above) tells the story 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 has received 80 complaints from people claiming the spot is offensive to people with facial and physical disfigurements and that it trivialises disability.

The ad watchdog is currently assessing the complaints and has not yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation.

A spokeswoman for Thomson says: “We were sorry to hear that there were complaints to the ASA regarding our new “Simon the Ogre” advert.

“We’d like to re-assure customers that the aim of our advert was to bring to life the potential power of a holiday, and to portray a light-hearted view on a metaphor that might ring true for certain families – the idea of being busy with work and the stresses of life, and it then melting away once on holiday.

“We tested this advert with more than 28,000 customers and received an overwhelmingly positive response. There was never any intention to cause offence or disappointment.”

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