AAMI pulls ‘insufferable’ recorder ad after social media backlash

AAMI has pulled its ad featuring a young girl playing the recorder after it became the focus of social media backlash, with commenters describing the ad as “insufferable”.

In an unusual twist for the insurer, which was behind the much loved Rhonda and Ketut campaign, the company decided to act after people said the screeching noise set their dogs howling.

In the ad the girl is sitting in the family’s broken down car blowing a single, ear-piercing note on her recorder as her exasperated parents tell her help will not be far away.

The girl continues to play as the AAMI girl pulls up in a service vehicle. The ad has so angered people it has prompted complaints to the advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Board (ASB).

AAMI took to Facebook to apologise for the ad, noting that some people had called for the entire marketing department to be sacked.

AAMI Facebook

A spokesperson for AAMI said it was the first time in five years with the company had seen such a reaction to its marketing.

He said it had been looking at what to do about the complaints for a week before making the decision to pull it from broadcast and use a new ad where the girl is seen playing a less irritating version of Frère Jacques. It remains on the AAMI Youtube channel.

He insisted the move was not part of a stunt to draw attention to the brand but that AAMI was being reactive to viewers’ concerns.

In the Facebook post AAMI apologised and asked people to forgive them.

“A sincere ‘Thanks’ to everyone who took the time to let us know what you thought about our latest ad (even those Tweets suggesting our ad team be retrenched #‎Gulp),” the post said.

“We’ve listened to your feedback, so, rather than insisting you wait for what’s coming up we thought you’d like to know we’re airing this slightly different version from today. Apologies for all the battered eardrums and howling dogs out there! ‪#‎PracticeMakesPerfect‬ ‪#‎BringingTheRecorderBack‬ ‪#‎Sorry‬‪#‎PleaseDontFireUs


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