Three Drunk Monkeys’ aggressive Oak chocolate milk drinker makes light of people with schizophrenia, a member of the public has told the Ad Standards Board in a complaint which was dismissed.
The ad, which was partly inspired by the dangerous Don Logan character played by Ben Kingsley in the film Sexy Beast, was Three Drunk Monkeys first for the Parmalat brand.
The complaint said: “”My husband and I wish to just inform you that we both find the new Oak Milk commercial “hungry thirsty” very offensive. We both deal with people with mental health issues daily and think this commercial is exploiting those suffering with schizophrenia & bi-polar disorders.”
Responding to the complaint, Parmalat told the ASB: “The new Oak ad simply shows a man walking down the street talking to camera, and therefore the viewer, about why you should drink Oak flavoured milk. He is not portrayed as hearing voices or talking to himself and in no way is intended to portray a person with mental illness.”
The ASB ruled: “The Board considered that the more likely interpretation is that the actor in the advertisement is talking to the viewer and not to himself, and considered that most members of the community would not interpret this advertisement as featuring a man with mental health issues.”