A KFC ad that encourages disobeying rules, an advert that shows "misleading" portions of vegetables and an ad which features "criminal" and "disgusting" behaviour were among the complaints received by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last month.

The television advertisement for KFC's Double Down shows a man eating a Double Down burger in various situations where he shouldn't. The ad concludes by saying, in part "the original rebel is back, KFC's Double Down is back".

The complainant said the advert sends the wrong message about obeying rules.

"The ad showed a youth eating a KFC burger standing on grass next to a 'keep off the grass' sign. He is then seen eating a burger entering a 'do not enter' door. Finally he is seen in a library using a book to conceal the fact that he is eating a KFC burger. In my opinion this sends out the wrong message about obeying rules. And would certainly not encourage me to go out and buy a KFC burger," the complainant said.


The ASA noted the complainant's concern about the advertisement showing a man disobeying rules was irresponsible, however, said it was a light-hearted play on the idea that eating a "Double Down" was rebellious and most people were unlikely to be offended due to the mitigating humour.

The ASA ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Oxfam New Zealand's television advertisement highlights the Bangladesh refugee crisis and features a woman called Lyla. The voice-over says, in part: "Lyla is 18, pregnant and has 2 children. They fled for their lives with only the clothes they wore and her husband is missing..."

The complainant said the advert was false advertising and not accurate as it had been shown for "months" and the woman would surely have had the baby.

"This ad has been playing for months, surely that lady has had baby number 3 and maybe number 4. These ads are not accurate at all so its false advertising!!" the complainant said.

The ASA ruled the advertisement was not misleading and had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers.

10 Jul, 2018 1:54pm
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The ASA noted that the voiceover said: "Text 317 or give on line and help families like Lyla's today."

The use of the word "like" further indicated the family in the advertisement were a representation of the people who need help, the ASA said.

The television advertisement for Heinz Wattie Steam Fresh microwavable vegetables features New Zealand Olympian Hamish Bond talking about the taste and nutritional benefits of snap-frozen vegetables while cooked peas, carrots and broccoli are being emptied from the product bag.

The complainant took issue with the "misleading" portions of vegetables being shown, in particular the over representation of broccoli.

"The advert shows a frozen steamed vegetable pack with equal portions of broccoli, carrots and peas. If anything the advert shows it weighted in favour of more broccoli. I have bought several of these and the broccoli is usually very under represented in the actual packs so therefore I say it is misleading advertising," the complainant said.

In its ruling, the ASA said that advertisements for food products can sometimes employ a level of hyperbole to demonstrate the range of ingredients to show them in their best light.

They referenced a similar complaint - which was not upheld – about the Bourbon Snack Burger.

"The complaints board noted that the ingredients advertised in the pictures on the website appeared to be included in the actual burger purchased, albeit presented in a much less attractive style. The complaints board was of the view that the advertisement before them intended to inform the consumer about the range of ingredients in the Bourbon Snack Burger and presented the burger in its best light in a manner that did not meet the threshold to be said to be misleading," the ASA said.

"The complainant's experience with the amount of broccoli they received did not make the advertisement misleading. The complainant was concerned the product did not meet their expectations and this was a service issue best addressed by the advertiser directly."

The ASA ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

The television advertisement for Heineken beer ends with the text "same great taste in 192 countries".

The complainant disagreed with the statement that Heineken beer has the "same taste in every country" based on their experience which was one of inconsistent taste across a number of countries.

Heineken explained the steps it takes to ensure a consistent taste profile for Heineken beer around the world. These measures include strictly controlled ingredients, regulated brewing processes and extensive testing.

The ASA accepted that while there were elements of the distribution chain which Heineken had no control over such as transport and storage conditions, it said these uncontrollable variations did not make the advertisement misleading.

The ASA ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Honda were forced to pull one of their advertisements after receiving two complaints it featured disgusting and criminal behaviour.

The television advertisement showed a young boy urinating on a tree before climbing into a Honda CR-V. It then shows a family packing up their car after a picnic or similar in the rain and driving in an urban dessert setting and states, in part: "Family life is an ever-changing adventure, that's why we developed the Honda CR-V to be ready for anything. Because the joy of moving you, is what moves us."

One complainant said: "Advert begins with a child insinuated to be urinating against the tree. This is a criminal activity in New Zealand and it is disgusting and unnecessary for the premise of the advert."

Another said: "Little boy urinating on a tree extremely offensive and against New Zealand law."

In response to the complaints, Honda took self-regulatory actions and removed the advert.

Honda said: "The section of the advertisement at the cause of the compliant will be removed completely before it plays on air again."