The Advertising Standards Authority banned several Tesco Mobile ads after receiving 52 complaints.
As part of a campaign created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the ad reads, “Big mobile networks are raising their bills again. Join us for a fixed price.”
Other taglines included “I’m eating pistachios” and “For fettuccine”.
Three of the ads appeared as full-page newspaper ads. Daily Express And daily mailTwo digital outdoor posters, paid Twitter posts.
Complaints disputed whether the ad was offensive because the words “shiitake,” “pistachio,” and “fettuccine,” alluded to profanity, and whether the ad was suitable for a child-viewable display.
In response, Tesco Mobile said it did not believe the ad violated the CAP code because it did not use offensive words or images.
Daily Express It was believed that words such as “shiitake” imply abusive language, but not as offensive as using the abusive language itself. It also referred to a previous ASA ruling in which the self-regulatory body did not acknowledge the complaint, although profane words appeared in the advertisement.
However, he acknowledged that humor is subjective and should be evaluated from the perspective of an audience.
In the end, the ASA ruled that four ads including “shiitake” and “pistachios” and a digital ad “F-sake” had the potential to cause serious or widespread crime before disclosing the word “fettuccine”.
However, no action was taken against one of the print ads “For Fettuccine” as it wasn’t considered close enough to profanity.