Shock Nik Naks 'Alien' spoof ad provokes complaints

LONDON – A controversial commercial for Nik Naks showing a crisp bursting out of a man's stomach in a spoof of the movie classic 'Alien' has racked up dozens of complaints to media watchdog Ofcom.

The ad for the Golden Wonder snack, part of a new £2m campaign, mimmicks the famous scene in Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror movie, in which actor John Hurt's stomach bursts open in a shower of blood after he has been impregnated by an alien.

A nine-week run has been planned for the spot, which appears on Channel 4, Five and across satellite stations. Already Ofcom has received 38 complaints about the controversial ad.

It is reminiscent of one of last year's most complained about ads where a dog emerges from a man's mouth for the Wrigley's brand Xcite. The Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO created ad sparked a record 600 complaints.

The action opens on a ferry, where a group of people are sitting around a table. A young man tells his friends that first thing he is going to do when he gets home is eat some decent food.

At that moment, a girl comes over with a packet of Nik Naks. After he has eaten one, he starts to convulse and shake. His friends think it is a joke until he collapses on the table. A giant Nik Nak bursts out of his chest in a cloud of orange powder.

The voiceover says: "They're monstrous, deformed and available in four stupid flavours." The strapline reads: "Eat the freak."

The ad, which is running on the Nik Naks website, has been running before the 9pm watershed, but after 7:30pm.

The ad was created by J Walter Thompson and directed by MJZ's Rocky Morton. It is the agency's first work for the brand since it won the £25m Golden Wonder account at the end of 2003.

Ofcom will decide whether to take action over the complaints in its next official advertising bulletin.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free