Camel Tanks ruled against for ad featuring domestic violence against a man

Camel TanksA TV ad for the manufacturer of poly rainwater tanks has fallen foul of the ad watchdog for a depiction of domestic violence against a man.

The 15-second ad for Camel Tanks featured a man showing his friend his new water tank during a barbecue. The man hugs the tank which results in his wife slapping him on the head.

A complaint against the spot argued it “could give young girls the idea it’s ok to use violence against boys, but not the other way round”.

Camel Tanks defended the spot arguing it was an attempt “to promote the benefits of owning a new water tank which is more attractive than the available competition”.

“Elements of the scenes such as the wife stealing her husband’s food and the husband dropping his sausage at the sight of the gorgeous tank are light hearted in nature. This visual presentation style is further exaggerated by loud sound effects,” Camel Tanks said.

It was the view of the brand that the ad was not “meant to reproduce a realistic situation but in fact are comic in nature”, arguing “the complainant is drawing a very long bow in connecting this humour with encouraging domestic violence.”

In its ruling, the board noted that the reaction of the man who was slapped “is indicative that the slap did hurt”. The board also noted the sound effect of the slap suggested it could have hurt the man and it was the board’s view the “sound effects were realistic and were not humorous nor could they be considered a slap stick depiction of violence”.

The board ruled “slapping a friend in response to such insignificant behaviour is not relevant to the product of the service advertised” and the depiction of violence was not justified in the context of the product advertised, thus the complaint was upheld.

Camel Tanks said there were no plans to run the advertisement again but “should there be a time in future that is used again we will remove the slap segment prior to showing”.

Miranda Ward


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