ALDI’s Christmas campaign starring the caroling family ‘The Tinkletons’ has come under the watchful eye of the Advertising Standards Board (ASB).
The complaint focused on the 15 second TVC promoting ALDI’s Monsigny Premier Cru Champagne, when in the final few seconds of the advert a cork hits a magpie: “Its disgusting that it seems to say the cork killed the native bird”.
An ALDI representative gave two reasons why the complaint should be dismissed: “No reasonable viewer would understand the advertisement as portraying an intentional act of harm. On the contrary, it is clear from the context that the man popping the cork had no idea that the cork had hit a bird until the bird falls from sky.
“Secondly, no reasonable viewer would understand the advertisement as literally depicting a cork killing a bird, whether intentionally or otherwise. It is clear from the humorous context that “bird” that falls from the sky is a stuffed animal, and not an actual bird. ALDI can confirm that this was in fact the case.”
The ASB agreed with ALDI, noting the Board dismissed complaints back in 2014 about a Specsavers campaign which showed a man mistaking a seagull for a volleyball:
In the Specsavers ruling, the Board noted “the man does appear to hit the seagull hard but considered that most members of the community would recognise that it was a CGI creation and not a real bird. The focus on a man mistaking a bird for a ball is unlikely to be considered to condone or encourage violence against seagulls or any other animal by most members of the community and is a situation most likely to be considered unlikely and humorous”.
The Board took a similar tone with its ALDI ruling: “The Board noted the advertiser’s response that the bird is a stuffed animal and not an actual bird and considered that most reasonable members of the community would recognise that the bird is not real.
“The Board noted that the scene is accompanied by a warning and considered that there is no suggestion that the man intended to harm a bird with his actions. The Board considered that in the context of a warning in the advertisement about carefully opening a bottle, the suggestion of a cork accidentally hitting a (fake) bird does not depict, encourage or condone violence towards animals.”