The Lawn Solutions Australia ad for Sir Walter turf, featuring the animated sausage with a weird face has been called out for promoting bullying, with the Ad Standards Board demanding the ad be altered.
In the 60-second version of the ad, a man is having a party, but when one guest realises the grass is not in fact ‘DNA certified Sir Walter’, he throws grass at the host’s face, sprinkles it through his hair and pushes it into his mouth, before all other party guests run for their lives in fear of bad turf.
Oh, and there’s also the creepy talking sausage. You can watch it here:
The complaints made claimed the ad “promotes and encourages physical bullying and peer pressure during a familiar social activity”, and “uses aggression, personal space invasion and humiliation to make the point”, effectively implying that if you “do the ‘right’ thing then people will like you, and if you don’t then you will be socially isolated and excluded”.
“The way the product is advertised is meant to be funny but it comes across as a form of bullying. Shoving grass in someone’s mouth is not acceptable for any reason.”
Directed by Daniel Pront, and based on an original concept from incumbent production company Louder Than Words, the ad was aimed at showing the potentially catastrophic consequences of making the wrong choice.
Louder Than Words executive producer Andrew McLean said, “They had a new story to tell, so the creative had to be really different from what had been done in the past, without straying off brand.
“We started with the backyard BBQ concept, and Daniel worked with us to take it to the level we wanted it to get to. Daniel, our staff and crew really worked hard to make this commercial something special, and the end result is certainly a testament to their efforts.”
But the ASB had a different take on it, and considered that while exaggerated scenes of guests fleeing the party, the dead lawn and the talking sausage were humorous and unrealistic depictions, the scene where the man has grass pushed into his mouth and face could be viewed as a realistic act of violence.
“The Board noted that bullying type behaviour is of strong community concern and considered that the issue is being trivialised in the advertisement,” it stated.
“The Board considered that the advertisement did present violence that was not justifiable in the context of the product being advertised.”
As a result, ASB has demanded the advertisers, Lawn Solutions Australia, to modify the ad to remove the scene of grass-in-face which caused concern, before seeking approval to return to air.
OOH transit company Adflow has announced the success of the first phase of its regional expansion program. Adflow’s regional footprint has increased by 60 per cent to now include 65 regional locations. With 9.1 million people living regionally in Australia (growth of 1.1 per cent experienced in the 19/20 Financial year) and most regional centres […]
Freshworks, a leading software company, has started trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, marking an important milestone for the company. The company priced its IPO at US$36 per share (AU$49.76), raising about US$1 billion (AU$1.4B), resulting in a total market capitalisation of AU$13.7 billion (US$10B). Freshworks, which was founded in India, has strong roots […]
Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]
Awindependent PR Agency Agent99 has added The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) to its client roster, alongside thought leader and commercial property specialist, Helen Tarrant. DISCUS is a national trade association representing U.S. producers, marketers, and exporters of distilled spirits. The account was won following a competitive pitch earlier this year. DISCUS has […]
Melbourne-based independent creative agency, By All Means, has today released limited edition ‘Locktown’ t-shirts to create a positive, artistic commemoration of their city, while shining a spotlight on the significant impact of lockdown on the mental health of Victorians. After 235 days under strict stay-at-home orders, Melbourne today claims the unenviable crown from Buenos Aires […]
Global marketing agency, Komodo, has announced it will be launching a dedicated TikTok arm to the business in Australia, following a series of key industry hires and new creators signed to their roster. The agency, who partners brands with social influencers across the globe, aims to bring a new dimension to influencer marketing by assisting brands […]
According to Fifth Dimension CEO Lyndall Spooner, whether you like roller coasters or not, we have all been riding ‘Dashed Hopes’ the COVID-19 emotional roller coaster for over 18 months and many of us have turned to online retail therapy to cope. Spooner uses the analogy of an emotional roller coaster to depict consumers’ […]
Underscoring its ongoing commitment to team care and wellbeing, during and beyond the pandemic, Havas Village Australia has introduced be together – a reconnection initiative to enable staff to reconnect with loved ones for longer when domestic and international borders reopen. The initiative, which reflects the Havas core value ‘Better Together’, gives staff from Host/Havas, […]
Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has ranked a group of 50 brands selling on Amazon.com.au based on a set of best practice criteria it has developed. Pet brand Zenify topped the ranking in Pattern’s Amazon Australia Benchmarking Report, scoring 82 per cent of the possible marks against a set of criteria designed to measure […]
Fifth Dimension Consulting has announced the expansion of its executive leadership team in response to the organisation’s significant growth over the last 18 months. Lyndall Spooner has moved from the position of managing director to the role of chief executive officer (CEO). As CEO, she will lead Fifth Dimensions’ innovation arm, as well as the […]