Domino’s Pedantic Response To Banned Ad

St. catharines, Ontario, Canada - September 11, 2019: A Domino's Pizza restaurant in St. catharines, Ontario, Canada. Domino's Pizza, Inc. is an American multinational pizza restaurant chain.

The Ad Standards Community Panel has upheld two complaints against a Domino’s Pizza campaign for breaching the AANA Code of Ethics on Health and Safety triggering a hilariously pedantic response from the pizza brand.

The ad in question is for Domino’s Meltzz range and depicts a model longboarding while eating a slice of pizza. Both complaints addressed that the rider in question was not wearing any safety equipment and was not paying attention to the path ahead of her, therefore sending the wrong message to kids about safety.

“This sets a very poor example for kids, especially when parents are trying to do the right thing and ensure their children are kept as safe as possible while still having fun. While I know safety equipment is not mandatory legally, it certainly is extremely desirable, and the wearing of it should be encouraged, especially in ads such as this where the greatest market for the product lies with young people,” one of the complaints said.

In a hilarious response from Domino’s, the Pizza brand highlighted that both complaints made reference to a skateboard but pointed out that the model was actually riding a longboard. Longboards are apparently “longer, heavier, flatter, wider, more stable, has a lower centre of gravity for riders, has a longer wheelbase and is typically ridden by adults (not children) and is considered either used primarily for commuting or is known as a ‘dancing board’ allowing for fancy footwork and dancing whilst rolling”. They also highlighted that the model in question, Jikal Hassan, is a professional long-border.

Domino’s refuted the suggestion that the ad was in breach of the Code of Ethics and proposed that the complaints be dismissed. “In our view, the risk of any negative consequences from the Advertisement is very low, if negligible. The Advertisement features elements that would not be considered realistic or achievable by the average rider and do not encourage or condone unsafe behaviour. Our view is that the scenes, including the dance longboard, are not contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety,” Domino’s responded.

The code of ethics dictates that “Images of unsafe driving, bike riding without helmets or not wearing a seatbelt while driving a motor vehicle are likely to be contrary to prevailing community standards relating to health and safety irrespective of whether such depictions are for the product/service being advertised or are incidental to the product”. The panel upheld the complaints on these grounds, finding the advertisement to breach the code.

“In respect of our submission and the Complaints relating to Section 2.6 of the AANA Code of Ethics, we are disappointed in the proposed findings,” Domino’s said in response to the panel’s decision.

Domino’s confirmed that the advertisement was discontinued on January 21 2024.

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