Angry florists lose their battle to ban Red Rooster ‘rip off’ ad

A Red Rooster ad promoting its ‘Rippa value meal’ as being more cost effective than buying flowers has been cleared of vilifying florists after 40 complaints were made to the Ad Standards Board.

The advertisement contrasted a bouquet of flowers under the words ‘Rip Off’ with a Red Rooster value meal accompanied by the words ‘Rippa Value’.

The ad was part of a social media campaign. Although it has been described in the ASB investigation, the ad is no longer  online and Mumbrella has been unable to track down a copy to show in this article.

One complaint posted to the ad watchdog said Red Rooster suggested florists and their products were rip offs and the ad was “defamatory to those within [the] profession”.

Other complaints labeled the poster ad as “offensive”, “upsetting”, “disrespectful”, “damaging”, “slanderous” and “misleading”.

“The comparison to a gift item is not relevant, you don’t eat flowers to sustain life as you do food! Different products that do different things. Obviously an advert to provoke the public which is working unfortunately! The bunch of flowers they picture could never be bought for $5.00 and they are not comparing apples with apples. It’s much the same as saying a diamond ring is a rip off compared to food, not correct and not relevant!,” another angry florist posted.

Providing a response to the numerous complaints, Red Rooster said the ad was intended to convey an inexpensive meal to its customers in a light hearted manner.

The advertiser said the phrase “rip off” was supposed to indicate the flowers were an expensive product.

The Ad Standards Board agreed with Red Rooster, saying the ad was clearly intended to be light hearted and a “humorous play on words”.

The Board dismissed the complaints.

However, despite being permitted to continue with the campaign, Red Rooster said: “Red Rooster is supportive of all small business people and takes the complaints seriously. As a result, Red Rooster has chosen to remove the Advertisement from its Facebook page and Instagram feed on 17 November 2017.”


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