Vitamin Water ad blasted for condoning skipping work

A small business group has criticised adverts for Coca-Cola’s Glaceau Vitamin Water brand, because they appeared to condone being off work without reason.

Text in an ad stated: “If you’ve had to use sick days because you’ve actually been sick, then you’re seriously missing out….The trick is to stay perky and use sick days to just, not go in.”

The Forum of Private Business ctriticised the ad saying it was “unacceptable to encourage workers to throw ’sickies’ in order to sell a soft drink. A company of the standing of Coca-Cola should know better.”

Coca-Cola rebutted the complaint saying the ad was in no way meant as a serious recommendation adding it was “clearly a tongue in cheek reference” and “one of a series of fictional stories” on the bottle which “help demonstrate the brand’s personality – we are not seriously suggesting people should call in sick when they are not “.

Last year, ads for the vitamin water brand were criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for presenting “misleading” claims about nutritional benefits, after it rejected the drinks company’s argument that the advertising was “humorous and irreverent”.

Meanwhile, an Israeli Tourist Office press campaign has been banned by the ASA for including pictures of East Jerusalem, part of the Palestinian occupied territories.

The Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO) press ad stated that a tourist can “travel the entire length of Israel in six hours” and featured a range of photos of destinations in Israel including a picture of Jerusalem.

A complaint was received by the ASA that the image showed the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, both of which are in East Jerusalem and part of the occupied territories of the West Bank.

The ASA said that readers of the ad were likely to assume that all the places featured in the ad were within the state of Israel. It banned the ad and told the IGTO not to imply that places in the occupied territories were part of the state of Israel.

Replying on behalf of the IGTO, the State of Israel Ministry of Tourism (SIMT) said the ad provided “basic, accurate information to a prospective UK traveller who wanted to know what to expect in Israel”.

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