Furniture retailer Domayne has been smacked by the advertising watchdog for a Christmas ad which showed children sleeping next to what appeared to be lit candles.
The ‘Domayne Lights Up Christmas’ creative appeared in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine and featured sleeping girls beneath a Christmas tree with a row of lit candles and wrapped gifts.
The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) said the use of candles near slumbering minors “should not be encouraged due to the potential fire risks” and upheld the complaints for health and safety reasons.
In Domayne’s response to the board the retailer explained that the candles depicted were not actually naked flames but battery operated.
“Notwithstanding the use of a safe alternative of a naked flame candle in this advertisement, Domayne recognises that this advertisement may contravene section 2.6 of the Code by depicting a child near a potential fire source,” the response said.
“Domayne will not be using this advertisement in it‚Äüs current form in any future advertising. Domayne will also conduct a review and training with regards to advertising and children.”
One complaint raised concerns that some consumers might be prompted to recreate the scene depicted in the ad: “Recalling the tragic house fire a couple of years ago that took the lives of 4 members of a family that was the result of candles burning makes me very concerned about the irresponsibility of this advertiser showing a scenario that could easily end in a fire tragedy.”
“As this is a very prominent full page ad, the scene could easily be emulated causing tragic consequences.”