Oak drinker not talking to himself, rules ASB

Three Drunk Monkeys’ aggressive Oak chocolate milk drinker makes light of people with schizophrenia, a member of the public has told the Ad Standards Board in a complaint which was dismissed.

The ad, which was partly inspired by the dangerous Don Logan character played by Ben Kingsley in the film Sexy Beast, was Three Drunk Monkeys first for the Parmalat brand.

The complaint said: “”My husband and I wish to just inform you that we both find the new Oak Milk commercial “hungry thirsty” very offensive. We both deal with people with mental health issues daily and think this commercial is exploiting those suffering with schizophrenia & bi-polar disorders.”

Responding to the complaint, Parmalat told the ASB: “The new Oak ad simply shows a man walking down the street talking to camera, and therefore the viewer, about why you should drink Oak flavoured milk. He is not portrayed as hearing voices or talking to himself and in no way is intended to portray a person with mental illness.”

The ASB ruled: “The Board considered that the more likely interpretation is that the actor in the advertisement is talking to the viewer and not to himself, and considered that most members of the community would not interpret this advertisement as featuring a man with mental health issues.”


  1. Anonymous
    3 Feb 11
    9:31 am

  2. Seriously, where do they find these people?

    Do they also see a lone newsreader sitting a a desk speaking to camera as someone talking to himself? Well, here’s a news flash: he’s talking to you! Yes, television is designed as communication, and it has a pretty firm understanding that someone will be listening and watching at the other end.

  3. Alison F
    3 Feb 11
    10:00 am

  4. Re: “exploiting those suffering with schizophrenia & bi-polar disorders.”…. I have always thought the same thing about that strange character from the Big Bang Theory who keeps winning the Golden Globes… I am always reminded of people I have known with Aspergers or Autism whenever I see that show.

  5. Riarn
    3 Feb 11
    10:34 am

  6. Stop talking to yourself Anonymous, or they will hunt you down too

  7. MR
    3 Feb 11
    11:06 am

  8. Some people really need to find themselves a hobby!

  9. Simon
    3 Feb 11
    11:20 am

  10. Love this ad, great performance.

  11. AdGirl
    3 Feb 11
    12:22 pm

  12. ROFL @Riarn…. Hysterical. That’s got the whole office here giggling….

  13. John Grono
    3 Feb 11
    1:23 pm

  14. Bloody hell … I hope she and her husband don’t go to see a production of Macbeth or there will a stage invasion during the soliloquies!

  15. John
    3 Feb 11
    2:39 pm

  16. I think it is a mixture of both – talking to himself and to the camera.

    Talks to himself at the beginning. If it continued on like that, I think the complainants may have had a case but at the end he is staring down the camera and clearly pitching the product to the audience.

    Even if the ad itself didn’t make light of mental illness, it’s a shame the commenters on this post had to.

  17. Shane
    3 Feb 11
    4:37 pm

  18. John, no-one made light of mental illness at all. They’re making fun of overly-sensitive types. There’s a difference. Stop being so sensitive.

  19. Stacey
    3 Feb 11
    5:11 pm

  20. Even if he was talking to himself, honestly – who hasn’t done that at one point or another? Are we also mentally ill?

    People will complain about anything just to get on their high horse and feel important!

  21. Anonymous
    4 Feb 11
    3:33 pm

  22. I’m going to complain to the ASB when a supermarket advertises milk… because it exploits those suffering to lactose intollerance