7 August 2013 - 7:32am | posted by | 34 comments

Marmite ad faces ban following over 250 complaints to ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received around 250 complaints about Marmite’s new £2m spoof advertising campaign of Animal Hospital.

The Guardian reports that the ASA received the complaints within the first 24 hours of the through-the-line campaign’s release on Monday, while the RSPCA is also understood to have issued its concerns.

The video for the campaign, created by Adam & Eve DDB, has been filmed as a tongue-in-cheek documentary, following a team rescuing forgotten Marmite jars at the back of cupboards. It is the first advert for the brand in two years.

As a result of the complaints, the ASA will now have to review whether the campaign has caused offence and could ban it all together.

Alongside TV, the advert is also running on YouTube and the brand’s Facebook page. A Twitter hashtag to discuss the campaign #MarmiteNeglect has also been created.

The Drum was awaiting a response from the RSPCA at the time of writing.

Comments

7 Aug 2013 - 09:56
willrust

I expect that the complaints are part of the PR strategy.

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7 Aug 2013 - 12:31
tobyjoyoung

@willrust Never under estimate the scheming of the PR profession!

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10 Aug 2013 - 11:00
anthropith's picture

@tobyjoyoung The whole profession are whores of the soul. Can't trust any of them. http://wp.me/pSAWL-5y

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7 Aug 2013 - 10:02
JimMcG's picture

Oh dear: the 'Nanny State' strikes again! I'm in the 'hate' camp, but I have to admit, the Marmite ad did make me smile.

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7 Aug 2013 - 10:15
cloudIQApps

I am a marmite lover, this is dark humour gone wrong, the marketing department should go pack to the brands core values. You have to wonder if they showed this to relevant consumer groups. It deserves to be banned.

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7 Aug 2013 - 10:20
brent17992's picture

I guess its an ad you either love or hate......

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7 Aug 2013 - 10:27
wildfirepro's picture

C'mon, really??? People are really too uber sensitive in this country these days. I love the heart-wrenching tale of the forgotten Marmite jar. Brilliant and clever. Well done Adam & Eve!

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7 Aug 2013 - 10:40
tombowers2's picture

This is boloney, have people had a personality bypass?, Its a fantastic campaign. completely agree with Wildfirepro. In my view it doesn't infringe any animal rights in actual fact it goes as far to reinforce that we have authorities in place to protect animals/humans/jars of marmite!

I love it, and on toast.

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7 Aug 2013 - 10:48
psh1953's picture

Nothing like talking of a ban to get people viewing it!! I'm a big Marmite fan and loved it and qwirky Brit humour at its very best

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7 Aug 2013 - 10:54
Rhysotto48689

The agency will be glad it was banned. Always good to create a reaction and get people talking about it.

"Lid's stuck"...love it.

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7 Aug 2013 - 11:26
DeccaQuinne

It's a bit long winded, rubbish & repellent (making me link abused animals with a brand, isn't a good idea) - but I don't get why it would be banned.

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7 Aug 2013 - 11:29
helbe11660's picture

I'm with Wildfirepro - it's a brilliant concept and very clever. I wish more TV advertising was so tongue in cheek and that brands feel they can be a little more brave with quirky concepts.

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7 Aug 2013 - 11:56
Geddon's picture

C'mon theres nothing wrong with this ad, its nothing more than tongue in cheek - the fact that it uses a paradigm associated with the RSPCA/animal rescue is irrelevant, you could apply the same logic with most ads out there at the moment. Well done Adam & Eve

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7 Aug 2013 - 12:21
alima20364's picture

some people just need something to complain about. They should get a life. The ad is very clever.

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7 Aug 2013 - 12:39
justinmacartney

I still hate it but made a kiling on ebay when the Guiness one came out at first

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7 Aug 2013 - 14:00
J_Price's picture

I think the Ad is brave but borders on bad taste personally. Soon as I saw it I thought – band. Yep, I'm all for pushing boundaries but kind of plays down the mistreatment of animals as draws lots of parallels. As for saying 'it's clever', well some people think putting a cat in to a tumble dryer is clever, don't mean I agree. Won't do the brand any harm if it is down to PR due to exposure - if that is the case then the brand can show their true colours by donating a chunk of funds to the RSPCA? So could be a positive out of a negative. Let's see if they are brave...

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7 Aug 2013 - 15:06
richa84321's picture

Seriously, its an advert, its a very clever advert and those complaining need to have a look at their own lives because there sure as hell isn't much going on in them if they have the time and desire to complain about this, maybe they should have put a disclaimer at the end saying "No animals were harmed in the making of this advert".

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7 Aug 2013 - 15:12
steve_christie's picture

I loved it! I think some of the issues might stem from the brilliant way its been filmed and Michael Burke doing the voiceover to make it look uber-realistic but come on people, its a tongue-in-cheek advert. I honestly don't see why people are calling it a negative. So the ASA had 250 complaints? So what? so people will get their overly sensitive knickers in twist about anything!

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7 Aug 2013 - 15:16
MyEclecticArt

I am in the US and our commercials are often more uptight than yours because people like to complain about everything, all the time. Even I didn't really see anything to get someone's panties in a bind over in that commercial. Yeah, it kind of feels at first glance that it is making animal rescue seem less important than it is...and then you remember to turn your brain and sense of humour back on and you are fine.

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7 Aug 2013 - 15:26
paulljcatlow

Wickedly funny! While not underestimating the cynicism of advertising hacks, as a Marmite eater may I propose a variation on this advert? One situation I really hate is when I'm a guest in somebody else's house. You can't complain as they're being hospitable and acting with the best of motives. But if your host does not eat Marmite themselves, but is being hospitable to an addict and brings out the one jar in the cupboard so as to accommodate you, the worst thing of all is finding it's practically empty, because (not eating the stuff themselves) it's never recurred to them to replace the wretched thing. So you're scraping a knife around inside the damn thing to get even the tiniest scraping, while your host is smiling at you for being so clever as to remember... A variation on the theme would be care of the neglected elderly? Social Services dropping by to take the very old jar, nearly incapable of looking after itself, into safe custody? My idea, you're welcome, send me the fee as I thought of it first and it's MY intellectual property....

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7 Aug 2013 - 15:28
paulljcatlow

Apologies, duplicated posting.

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7 Aug 2013 - 16:18
LeeroyLeeroyLeeroy

I'm a animal lover and owner who takes great care of my pets.

And I bloody loved this advert. Where is your sense of humour. People complain about absolutely nothing. Get out more and stop being miserable.

Regards,

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7 Aug 2013 - 23:58
pleak75930's picture

Hilarious! What I find staggering is 250 numb-nuts sat in front of the ad, poised to criticise!! The worlds in crisis and this is the best they can do?! Pathetic! P.S. I love marmite!!

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8 Aug 2013 - 10:49
redgu42637's picture

This is a classic example of consideration of a minority leading to exclusion of the majority. Well meaning attempts to give everyone's point of view equal validity have slowly turned upside down so that a minutely small tail now wags a dog the size of the country. A mass marketing campaign of this kind will be seen by thousands, possibly millions of people and a small amount of them will take offence at something even though none was intended. There is no way this advert could be considered offensive and if 250 people were 'offended', i'm afraid that it is their problem. However, it would appear that any one person has the right not to be offended by anything so just try and make an advert now and not offend one of the 60 million potential viewers in this country. Talk about treading on eggshells.

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8 Aug 2013 - 12:06
keith_hague's picture

It's a great ad. Some people need to stop being so pathetic.

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8 Aug 2013 - 13:39
brian19217's picture

what sort of imbecile would complain about this ad? There's nothing to complain about. Saddo's

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8 Aug 2013 - 23:05
jackscht

They should be put down. Horrible things.

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9 Aug 2013 - 12:09
feemcleod

Good on them! Thought it was hilarious. Great humour #marmiteuk

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9 Aug 2013 - 14:07
GarethNeville

calm your tits people, it's only yeast.

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9 Aug 2013 - 15:07
jeann20426's picture

Making light of animal abuse and the need for rescue isn't particularly good taste--but who says that advertising is always in good taste? I don't think poor taste should be banned.

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9 Aug 2013 - 16:23
WarrSean

Love it hate it just don't forget it? Certainly won't forget this advert.

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10 Aug 2013 - 17:27
saman17091's picture

THEY NEED TO CHILL OUT! CHECK MY BLOG POST ON IT...

http://www.samanthagray.co.uk/2013/08/love-it-or-hate-it-marmite-neglect...

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10 Aug 2013 - 13:55
saman17091's picture

CHILL OUT!! Check my blog post on the Marmite campaign!!

http://www.samanthagray.co.uk/2013/08/love-it-or-hate-it-marmite-neglect...

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21 Aug 2013 - 18:19
lgray96501's picture

I work in an animal rescue centre & I think that making light of animal abuse is in very bad taste. If it was child abuse would people feel the same? Why you would want to associate your condoment brand with neglected animals is beyond me! I'm not one to put in an official complaint about something like this though. If the majority find this parallel with abused animals 'amusing' then who am I to stand in their way! Try doing my job for a day though, see if you still find it amusing!

Also the fact that Unilever are STILL conducting tests on animals in this day & age is appalling...& to then have this ad when they are responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals? A little insensitive.

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