COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/358
COMPLAINANT M. Waitt ADVERTISER Mars NZL Ltd ADVERTISEMENT Television
DATE OF MEETING 16 October 2017
OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The television advertisement for Snickers showed mime actors pretending to be firefighters trying to put out a fire in a building. A firefighter in uniform approaches the actors with a pack of Snickers Bites and says "You're useless when you're hungry" and when the actors eat the Snickers Bites they become firefighters again. The advertisement then says "You're not you when you're hungry". The advertisement concludes with clown actors arriving in a police car.
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, M. Waitt, said: "This is for an advert that from Snickers portrayal insults our emergency services specifically Fire & Police depts. It is an insult to great organisations that look after & defend this country This advert should be removed from viewing for the respect to these vigilant professionals."
The relevant provisions were Basic Principle 4 of the Code of Ethics and Basic
Principles 3 and 6 of the Code for People in Advertising.
The Chair noted the Complainant's concern the depiction of the firefighters and police officers in the advertisement was disrespectful and insulting.
The Chair noted the advertisement employed comedic hyperbole to illustrate that people were not themselves when they were hungry. She said the use of humour was acceptable in the advertisement as the portrayal was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most people. The Chair said the advertisement was not in breach of Basic Principles 3 or 6 of the Code for People in Advertising.
The Chair said taking into account the humour of the advertisement, it was unlikely to insult people who work in emergency services and had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and society. The Chair said the advertisement was not in breach of Basic Principle 4 of the Code of Ethics and ruled there was no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed