“What A Load Of Shiitake!” Telco Campaign Banned By Watchdog For Replacing Expletives With Vegetables

“What A Load Of Shiitake!” Telco Campaign Banned By Watchdog For Replacing Expletives With Vegetables

A telco campaign in the UK has been banned by the advertising watchdog after it used the names of foods as substitutes for expletives.

The campaign was by grocery chain Tesco for its home brand mobile network.

The ads, which were spread across newspapers, Twitter posts and as an outdoor campaign used words including “shiitake” and “pistachio” to replace swear words.

However the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ads were likely to cause “serious and widespread offence”.

According to ASA, the campaign received 52 complaints, the chief concern was that the ads could be seen and read by children.

Tesco Mobile defended the ads, believing them to be playful fun that most people could see were harmless.

Handing down its judgement, ASA said the ads were “so likely to offend that they should not generally be used or alluded to in advertising, regardless of whether they were used in a tongue-in-cheek manner”.

A spokesperson for Tesco Mobile said: “We’re really sorry for any offence caused. We know the frustration that consumers face when they notice their mobile phone bill has gone up mid-contract and we were reflecting their frustration – and ours – in these ads.

“We’re proud to offer our mobile customers supermarket value, and so we used a play on words relating to food products.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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