A Save the Children ad, which was created by adam&eveDDB and showed a live childbirth, has not been banned by the ASA.
The ASA noted that a warning appeared before the ad was shown, saying ‘The following advertisement features a real birth scene which viewers may find distressing’, and despite some viewers suggesting that the baby seemed to be dead in the advert, it could be heard crying.
Save the Children said the ad depicted a moment of uncertainty about the baby's wellbeing that was common during childbirth, adding that crying was a generally accepted behaviour in healthy newborn babies and the organisation therefore believed the inclusion of the baby crying in the ad demonstrated that the baby was OK after receiving treatment from the midwife.
The majority of complaints deemed the ad offensive, overly graphic and unduly shocking and distressing. Despite this, the ASA ruled that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
It was also revealed that the mother was fully informed and in agreement over her appearance in the ad.