Duff Duffy advert ruins supermarket

A TV advert involving the singer Duffy cycling through a supermarket provoked a flurry of complaints from several unsuspecting shoppers.  

Duffy, who was featuring in the advert, sparked complaints from several aggrieved customers at the local Somerfield store – some of whom were forced into taking evasive action in order to avoid serious injury.

The commercial began with Duffy coming off stage after a triumphant one hour set before having some Coke backstage and cycling wide-eyed through the dark streets and into the store, knocking several display items on to the floor, then returning to her concert in time to perform an encore.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) were concerned that many viewers were offended by the flagrant disregard for Somerfield’s Health and Safety Policy, which states quite explicitly that “supermarket cyclists should wear protective head, knee and elbow gear at all times” and that the advert could also be seen to encourage the contravention of the Highway Code, which recommends that “reflective clothing [should] be worn at all times whilst cycling, particularly in crowded indoor spaces.”

There were also four complaints about whether the advert glorified the use of Coke, leading to youngsters copying her behaviour.

Producers argued that the advert was not meant to reflect reality, but rather “Duffy’s fantasy of a special Coke dream world far removed from the grey, concrete realities of dark wet roads and high street supermarkets.”

Nonetheless, the company said that Duffy had gone through a “vigorous” production process before appearing on screen to ensure that Coke had no adverse effects on her ability to cycle on public roads. In fact, as one bystander observed, it actually served to heighten her senses and make her more alert to her surroundings. “She was certainly looking sharp during filming”, said Peter Ian in an interview shortly afterwards, “You couldn’t stop her talking about it – she was really enthusiastic about the whole thing.”

After investigating, the ASA did not uphold the complaints, deciding that, despite advertisers’ assumption to the contrary, the viewing public aren’t complete fucking cretins (apart from those who complained, obviously).

 

[18/06/2009]

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