A Tui ad poking fun at ginger kids has fallen flat with at least one member of the public who said it was "offensive and degrading".
A newly-released finding says parent company DB Breweries brewer removed a billboard reading 'Santa even likes ginger kids. Yeah Right' from a site in Hamilton after a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Complainant J White said the company had gone too far.
"The billboard is targeting children before Christmas on an alcohol billboard. It is offensive and degrading towards children and singles out a natural occurrence of which a child has no control over and makes redheaded children out to be 'different' and not like the rest.
DB said the ad was mistakenly installed at the wrong site because of "a glitch in the brand's advertising schedule".
"The billboard text was intended to be placed only within the perimeter of the Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka where it would not have been visible by the public from outside the brewery premises."
When the company became aware of the error, the advertisement was replaced as soon as possible, said the authority. The Advertising Standards Complaints Board chairman acknowledged the ad was removed once the mistake was realised and ruled the matter was settled.
Tui Marketing Manager Jarrod Bear said the 'Yeah Right' billboards were "iconic" and aimed at "delivering NZ a smile, with irreverent commentary on topics relevant to New Zealanders".
The billboard is not the only redhead-related campaign to cause offence.
Radio station The Edge ran a Hug-A-Ginga day promotion in 2010, encouraging the public to hug people with red hair.
Five complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority said it was derogatory, discriminatory and victimised red-haired children.
However, the Broadcasting Standards Authority was unable to make a determination because recordings of the relevant broadcast could not be provided due to technical difficulties at the station.
Last year the radio station re-branded the promotion as Heart a Ginga Day, encouraging people to appreciate redheads in a non-physical way.
- APNZBy Abby Gillies Email Abby