ANZ advertisement pulled by industry watchdog for depicting a child at risk of SIDS

An ad for ANZ has been removed from air after a complaint was made to industry watchdog, Ad Standards, pointing out that the baby depicted in the ad is at danger of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The complainant pointed out that the child depicted in the advertisement is wearing a beanie. The headwear goes against Australian health and safety guidelines which say it should be removed prior to a baby being placed down for sleep.

The complainant wrote: “The baby that is in the cot has a bonnet on which is strictly against the standards of a care for a child being placed down in a cot for sleeping, all headwear etc should be removed prior. This sets the incorrect standards. Many babies have died from SUIDS (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome) and sleeping with headwear is a contributing factor. This part of the ad should be removed or modified.”

The Ad Standards community panel ruled in favour of the complaint based on Section 2.6 of the AANA Code of Ethics, which declares that advertising or marketing communications “shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety”.

The panel consulted health advice provided by NSW Health and Red Nose Australia which both stated that babies’ heads and faces need to be uncovered to prevent overheating or the risk of obstructed breathing.

ANZ’s response assured the panel that its creative agency, TBWA Melbourne, consulted with a Talent Pay child welfare representative on the shoot and received approval for the baby’s wardrobe. However, prior to the panel’s ruling, ANZ began working with the agency on modifying the ad. ANZ said the updated ad that will soon launch will comply with the NSW Health and Red Nose advice.


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