A TV commercial for a UK ISP featuring comedian Harry Enfield and Winston Churchill has been banned because it is “grossly offensive to the public and the wartime leader’s surviving family”, reports the Sunday Telegraph.
The ad – one of four for UK ISP Madasafish – features Enfield’s Frank Doberman character who shouts: “Oi, Winston, No”.
This, and a reference to the wartime leader downloading “saucy pictures of Monty from El Alamein using a dial-up connection” was too strong for the Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC), which promptly banned the ad. David Laurie, of Madasafish says “The ad was not intended to cause offence” and described the ban as “absurd and an affront to the British sense of humour.”
The Madasafish website adds “It seems that our latest TV ad, featuring shouting favourite Frank Doberman, the Self Righteous Brother played by Harry Enfield, is ´likely to cause offence´. In the ad Frank gets stuck in to the Greatest of Britons Winston Churchill. In his usual style, Frank quietly explains to dear old Winston that he ought to consider switching from his dial-up connection to Madasafish Broadband. How can that cause offence?”
Personally, I can’t say I was outraged – not as I was when the Wrigley’s Dog Breath Commercial was released. However it’s certainly not in good taste and I would not have done it, that’s for sure. Why use Winston Churchill when there are plenty of other targets around who would definitely not have caused offence? My view is always, if it’s likely to annoy or upset anyone, why take the risk? Winston Churchill was voted the most important Briton ever in a BBC poll last year, so it’s hardly surprising the BACC reacted. I would have looked for another angle.
If you want to check out the banned ad for yourself, click the picture of Winston above.
Incidentally, my New Year Resolution (well, one of them) is to add something interesting to this site every week. OK, so I’ve only just started but I do know that half a dozen items since last July is just not good enough!