Gillette ad banned after complaints over 9/11 similarities

LONDON - A Gillette TV ad showing a man running from an office that is about to be demolished by a wrecking ball has been banned after 159 viewers complained that it was reminiscent of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

The spot, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, includes a scene where the man runs down a dust-filled stairwell as the building is being torn apart behind him.

The commercial was promoting the deodorant brand Gillette Right Guard and featured a TV presenter commentating on the man's progress.

Appearing first in early September, the ad appeared close to the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, prompting viewers to complain that the timing was inappropriate and that it was too reminiscent of the disaster.

AMV responded to complaints by amending the ad and taking out the stairwell scene. The ad was also taken off the air on September 7, with the intention of replacing it with a cut-down version on September 22.

However, the Independent Television Commission said that further complaints had been received since the new version aired and that it was the whole theme of the ad that was upsetting viewers. It therefore judged that the two longer versions of the ad caused significant offence.

Almost 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, including 67 Britons.

The ad was written by Richard Morgan and art directed by Simon Langley. The spot was directed by Happy through Arden Sutherland.

AMV was also behind the most complained about television ad to date -- the spot for Wrigley's Xcite chewing gum, which showed a man regurgitating a dog.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Google partners MediaCom for global training initiative

Google partners MediaCom for global training initiative

Google and MediaCom are teaming up to develop a global training programme called Mobile Ignition, to set a "mobile first" mindset among the agency's staff.

Share
Mike Buckley leaves Microsoft for Telegraph Media Group

Mike Buckley leaves Microsoft for Telegraph Media Group

Mike Buckley, the head of agency sales at Microsoft, is joining Telegraph Media Group as its digital commercial director.

Share
Howard Bareham leaves Mindshare for UTV Media after 15 years

Howard Bareham leaves Mindshare for UTV Media after 15 years

Howard Bareham, the head of radio at Mindshare and GroupM, is to take the role of commercial development director at UTV Media (GB) ending 15 years at the WPP agency.

Share

Get news by email