Watchdog flooded by Xcite 'dog breath' complaints

LONDON - The advertising watchdog has been flooded by almost 600 complaints about the 'dog breath' television commercial for Wrigley's new chewing gum brand Xcite, which shows a man regurgitating a dog.

With a record 600 complaints already made, the ITC says they are still coming and it expects the total to rise.

The ad, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, shows a man lying on the couch next to a half-eaten kebab after a heavy night out. As he wakes up, he gags and a black and white dog emerges from his mouth.

The man pops a few Xcite gums into his mouth and the dog disappears, just as his girlfriend walks in and gives him a kiss on her way out to work. The ad finishes with the line "Avoid dog breath".

The ITC had logged almost 600 complaints by this morning and expects to add more today. It says that parents are complaining because the ad is scaring children.

It is the second ad in recent weeks that has prompted such a high number of complaints.

At the end of last month, an ad for H Bauer's magazine Take a Break attracted 600 complaints in total from the public. The ad showed a meals-on-wheels driver keeping an old lady waiting while she reads a magazine.

In the ad, a voiceover said: "Whatever you're doing, it can wait while you Take a Break". The old woman was left waiting in her bleak kitchen, an empty plate in front of her, for her meal to be delivered. The ITC was later forced to admit that the ad should never have gone on air.

A spokesman for the ITC said the Xcite ad may have received such a high number of complaints because it had aired in peak time and reached a lot of people. He said the complaints they had received reflect "distaste and were upsetting to children".

He added: "The ITC will adjudicate on the ad in the next couple of days."

However, it is not likely to be reported on in this week's Advertising Complaints Report, which is released on Monday. The next one will be in two week's time.

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