'A load of bull'- Vodafone's bull ad one of 16 ads in breach of advertising codes
Up to 16 advertisements have been found to breach the codes of the Advertising Standards Authority.
Vodafone was found to breach codes for "treating a dangerous situation lightly". The advertisement showed a couple being surprised by a bull while picnicking in a field and getting it to leave by showing it a video.
Complaints said that the advertisement made light of the fact that bulls are dangerous animals, and particularly noted the need for more knowledge in farm safety in Ireland. They also complained that the advertisement encouraged an irresponsible response to a dangerous situation since the couple did not attempt to escape.
One complainant who had been attacked by a bull some years ago and left with chronic pain said the advertisement’s treatment of the issue was ‘disgraceful’.
According to the ASAI statement, Vodafone said they were "satisfied that the majority would see the humorous side of the advertisement, and while they acknowledged that one complainant’s personal experience of an accident with a bull had led her to be distressed by the advertisement, that the majority of people would not have viewed the advertisement in this way."
A complaint was upheld against Omega Pharmacy Ltd (XLS Medical) for showing girls of normal weight discussing a slimming product; the ASAI has stated that advertisements cannot imply that people with a normal weight should slim.
Detox Juice also had a complaint upheld because the level of weight loss they promised – up to eight pounds in three days – was not in line with good nutritional practices.
Complaints were made to the ASAI about Therapie Clinic, Lidl, Interflora, Eir, BetBright, Valero Marketing Ireland, Virgin Media, Plexus Bio-Energy and Miss Fit Skinny Tea for misleading advertisements or unsubstantiated claims.
The four other complaints against Thesis Direct, Vodafone and Virgin Media came from ‘interested parties’; other companies in the field complaining about inaccurate or unfair comparisons to their own businesses.
These advertisements must now be removed from any platforms or amended to reflect the conclusion of the complaint. If the companies in question or any media outlets continue to display the ads, they can be subjected to fines.
A full list of the complaints can be read here: http://www.asai.ie/complaints-bulletins/