People in England (horizontally challenged and not) are voicing their displeasure with the ad above, for the Cadbury House health club, urging people to lose weight—or risk looking appetizing to hungry aliens when the invasion finally happens. Words like offensive, patronizing, insensitive and tacky are being trotted out. You could also include unoriginal. The ad is almost an exact replica—in image and copy—of the billboard below, done by Grey in San Francisco for 24 Hour Fitness way back in 1999. It didn't go over well then, either. After people protested, Grey creative director Alan Randolph told Adweek at the time: "We certainly didn't mean to offend anyone. I mean, I'm no physical specimen either." This time, it's Cadbury House's Jason Eaton who's urging people to lighten up—in more ways than one. "The alien campaign has been developed as a tongue-in-cheek look at the fact that people, generally, over the Christmas period do put on a little weight. We do not intend to cause any offense to anyone."
—Posted by Tim Nudd
Don't miss the Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience Nov. 16-19. Gain insights from leading sports figures on how they navigated a year of upsets and transformation and what's in store for the coming year. Register.