UK: Coca-Cola ‘Cactus’ Oasis advert banned
A Coca-Cola ad for its Oasis drink has been ordered off the air in the UK following a number of complaints from consumers.
The television campaign for the fruit drink, which shows a girl running away from home with her new 'cactus' boyfriend received 32 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the country, claiming the commercials were "offensive" and "irresponsible".
The first of the two commercials shows a young American girl running off with a character called The Cactus Kid - who is green, covered in spikes and doesn't like water - after falling pregnant by him.
The second advert shows the girl and the Cactus Kid in a diner ordering some Oasis.
Viewers complained the advert condoned underage sex, teenage pregnancy and that the girl's last line in the ad - "I reckon now she knows how I ended up getting sunburn on the bottom of my feet" - was an offensive and potentially harmful sexual reference.
Coca-Cola said both ads were restricted so they were not shown immediately before, during or after programmes aimed at children, and that they had an established policy not to target their ads at children under 12 years of age.
The ASA said that the ads "must not be broadcast again in their current form".
A Coca-Cola GB spokesperson said today (8 October): "We are disappointed that the complaints against the 'Oasis' Cactus Kid campaign have been upheld by the ASA, as the ... campaign has been a huge hit with the target audience.
"We ensured that advertising standards were met as we planned the campaign and the ads were approved by Clearcast, in line with their guidelines. The subsequent media buying was highly targeted towards an adult audience and fell within OFCOM restrictions."
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