Pizza Haven ad dropped after 'safety' complaints

 
May 13, 2002

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Pizza Haven was forced to drop a TV advertisement in which the chain's mascot runs into a glass door and falls down.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the country's Advertising Standards Complaints Board ruled the spot breached codes that instruct advertisers to promote safety rather than recklessness in their messages.

In the TV ad, a costumed Pizza Haven mascot runs across a courtyard toward a room full of children. En route, the mascot slams into a closed glass door it apparently thought was open.

Since the ad was directed at children, the board ruled that it should observe a higher standard of social responsibility by encouraging more regard for safety. The report said there were 22 complaints about the ad from people concerned it could affect children's behavior.

In its decision, a board representative wrote that "the advertisement had been shown at approximately 5 p.m., at which time the audience would be of a younger age group." Pizza Haven stated that the ad was geared toward customers 18 to 29 years of age.

"The majority of the board was of the view that the advertisement portrayed 'horrific element(s) likely to disturb children', and it showed a visual presentation which could encourage children to behave in 'an unsafe way,' " the report said.

In its submission to the board, Pizza Haven said the advertisement had been given a "G" rating. It also requested the board allow the ad to be played after 8.30 p.m. The board, however, ruled it unsuitable for both children and young adults because it "could encourage a disregard for safety among the wider viewing public, not just children."


Topics: Marketing


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