Reckitt Benckiser ad cleared for showing ‘animated human faeces in the shape of donuts’

An ad for Reckitt Benckiser’s Air Wick product ‘VIPoo’ has been cleared by the advertising watchdog for showing “animated human faeces in the shape of donuts” and using “mock” images of poo.

The ad depicts a Hollywood star giving her poo the “VIPoo treatment” by using a new spray to mask the smell of “this morning’s breakfast burrito” using donuts as a visual representation of poo.

The complaint said the advertisement is “annoying” for advertising a poo spray.

Complaints were also made for the language used in the ad such as “punish(ing) the porcelain” and “devil’s doughnuts”.

Reckitt Benckiser responded to the complaints by saying the ad does not vilify or discriminate against women nor does it breach any social values.

The advertiser also noted the ad was made to target generation X and Y with the intention of being “light hearted, matter-of-fact, humorous and tongue-in-cheek”.

In its ruling the board agreed with Reckitt Benckiser and cleared the ad, noting the ad did not discriminate against or vilify women and did not use inappropriate language.

The ruling also noted ‘bad taste’ is not a factor covered by the code, stating: “The Board considered that the issue of taste falls outside of the Code therefore the Board cannot consider this aspect of the complaints when making its determination.”


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