Frucor Beverages Ltd, Television
COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/229
COMPLAINANT E Snow
ADVERTISER Frucor Beverages Ltd ADVERTISEMENT Frucor Beverages Ltd, Television DATE OF MEETING 17 July 2017
OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The television advertisement for Frucor V energy drink shows a tired officer worker confronted with two miniature people representing the afternoon slump. The characters send a doodled picture of a farting bottom to all staff including the office worker's manager. After drinking a can of V, the office worker explains the incident by pretending he is speaking to a Russian about a "bum virus", using a Russian accent.
The Acting Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed. Complainant, E Snow, said: After drinking a V, a guy in the office pretends to be Russian by
speaking with his boss with the exaggerated Russian accent and telling to him there's a
"Russian bum virus Kaputsky". This is very insulting racial slur and has a potential to expose
Russian office workers here in New Zealand to ridicule.
The relevant provisions were Code for Advertising Food - Principle 1; Code for People in Advertising - Basic Principle 3, Basic Principle 6.
The Acting Chair noted the Complainant's concern that the advertisement was insulting to
the Russian community.
The Acting Chair reviewed the advertisement and took into account the attempt by the Advertiser to use light-hearted humour and miniature characters controlling a computer to connect its product with the topical subject of hacking and possible Russian connections to this. While acknowledging this was offensive to the Complainant, the Chair confirmed that humour and satire were permissible under the Advertising Codes. The Acting Chair said while the level of humour was questionable, the advertisement did not reach the threshold to be considered a breach of the Code for Advertising Food or the Code for People in Advertising.
The Acting Chair ruled the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.
Accordingly, the Acting Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Acting Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed