Oporto falls foul of Advertising Standards Board for ‘Carne Cartel’ ad

Oporto’s new ‘Carne Cartel’ ad is unnecessarily violent but has not vilified South Americans, the Advertising Standards Board has ruled.

The ad, which parodies a Latin-American drug gang and features a Cartel member questioning the quality of meat used by a chef who is bound and hooded, was deemed not to have discriminated or vilified a nationality or race, with the report stating “it is not clear that the characters are part of any particular group or that they are from any particular country or nation”.

One of the sampled complaints made to the watchdog read: “I feel this ad is absolutely disgusting; there is enough violence in this world today without watching it in advertisements. Surely the product can be advertised in a much more appropriate way”.

In its defence Oporto said the ad did not harm anyone or portray actual violence: “We  believe consumers will know and understand that Oporto in no way endorses violence of any kind, but has taken creative license to demonstrate that Oporto now has quality steak  products.

“In creating the campaign we looked for a creative device that would be inspired from the  food’s flavour heritage (Latin America) and could serve to portray the product in a manner  demonstrating Oporto’s hard-lined philosophy for quality.”

The new series of ads has been created by Publicis Mojo for the fast-food chain.

However the Board found the depictions of knives, the splattering of sauce and the hooded captive could be perceived to be the “ritualised beginnings of the torturing of the captured man and that these actions are both menacing and violent”.

It noted the TVC was rated M by the country’s classification body CAD but considered that even though the ad was likely to be viewed by an older audience, “the portrayal of violence was not justified in the context of selling a burger,” thus breaching section 2.3 of the Code.

Mariam Chehab


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