A Vodafone television advertisement showing a man about to stick a knife in a toaster breached ethical standards, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

The advert featured an actor in the kitchen trying to retrieve toast stuck in the toaster before picking up a knife and going over to it.

The scene ends before he puts it in and a voice-over says "Bonus weekend minutes when you top up on Supa Prepay: another way to get more than you bargained for''.

Complainant B Bateman said the advert showed a dangerous act that could result in electrocution or a serious shock if it was copied by anyone.


The Advertising Standards Authority Code of Ethics says all advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and society and should not, unless justifiable on educational or social grounds, contain any visual presentation or any description of dangerous or illegal practices or situations which encourage a disregard for safety.

Vodafone, which had already pulled the advert following complaints, said the ad was a tongue in cheek reference to a well-known situation.

The authority acknowledged the intention of the accompanying tagline and the rating of the advertisement but that did not save the advert from depicting a potentially dangerous "everyday'' situation.

It said the advert was in breach of Rule 12 of the Code of Ethics and did not observe the due sense of social responsibility required by Basic Principle 4 of the Code of Ethics.