U.K. Supermarket Ad Banned for Targeting Kids

Morrisons TV spot ‘irresponsible’

Britain’s advertising watchdog has hit out at supermarket chain Morrisons for encouraging children to pester their parents to shop at the store.

Morrisons’ television campaign, created by DLKW Lowe, offered viewers a chance to win a trip to Disneyland Paris. The advert featured unhappy children who became cheered up at the prospect of a visit to Morrisons to pick up Disney cards. It then showed children opening packs of cards to find the gold card that would win them a holiday.

Three people complained that the “irresponsible” spot was deliberately targeting children. Morrisons responded that children were unlikely to have seen the advert, which was broadcast in July. The “vast majority” of ads appeared between programs intended for adults, the supermarket argued.

But the Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaints. It noted that the ad appeared on several children’s channels, featured children, and offered collectable Disney cards and the chance to win a holiday to Disneyland Paris. The final scene also showed a girl waking up her mother early to visit the store. “We considered these to be factors which would hold a strong appeal amongst children,” the ASA wrote in its assessment. “The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.”

You can watch the offending advert here.