Coca-Cola has taken its “Break Up” ad for Coke Zero off the air in Australia after the Advertising Standards Bureau received complaints about its raunchy content.
The Coke Zero ad – which was created by the Danish agency Grey Copenhagen – has been running globally. It features a young man steeling himself to end a relationship. When he starts to break the news, it goes far better than he could have hoped, complete with pole dancers appearing from nowhere and the girlfriend saying she understands, and to call her when he wants to have fun.
Prior to broadcast, the Australian version of the TVC had already been toned down compared to the version airing in some parts of the world which included the girl inviting him to call “when you want to shag”.
But the Australian Family Association has labelled the ad – aimed at Coke Zero’s young, male audience – sexist, reported Adelaide’s Sunday Mail. The Advertising Standards Bureau told Mumbrella that it had received complaints and was investigating. And a spokesman for Coca-Cola South Pacific told Mumbrella that the company had voluntarily taken the Coke Zero commercial off the air until the ASB has looked at it.
However, the ad has so far only generated 45 complaints. The willingness of Coca-Cola to voluntarily pull the ad until the ASB has ruled, comes after its recent bruising encounter with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over its “myth-busting” advertisements for Coke.
The ASB will be keen to show that it can be a tough regulator after being attacked by the ACCC for okaying the previous ad. But if it does ban the TVC, it risks putting itself at odds to regulators in other parts of the world where the ad is still running.