‘Dangerous’: Wrigley told never to show people chewing gum while playing sport in ads

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wrigley Extra ad banned by UK watchdog. Photo: Wrigley
Wrigley Extra ad banned by UK watchdog. Photo: Wrigley
UK’s ad watchdog has banned a Wrigley TV ad and told the company to avoid showing people chewing gum while playing sports in future campaigns.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled a TV ad for Extra gum, aired in September 2017, may encourage children to chew gum while playing sports.

The ad showed a young woman about to take a penalty kick on a soccer pitch while chewing gum.

The ASA received two complaints​: That the ad condoned or encouraged a dangerous practice and another suggesting the ad featured behavior that could be dangerous for children to emulate.

Wrigley argued the ad was acceptable as the woman taking the penalty was stationary and not in full motion while chewing gum.

Reported incidents of people choking: ASA

But the ASA said: “We understood there had been several reported incidents of people choking on gum whilst playing sports.

“We therefore considered that chewing gum whilst playing sports was an unsafe practice and one which could be dangerous for children to emulate.”

The watchdog said the ad breached codes 4.4 (Harm and offence) and 5.2 (Children) of UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) and banned the ad.

It said Wrigley Company Ltd should not show people chewing gum while playing sport in any future ads.

No consumer contact on choking incidents, says Wrigley

A Wrigley spokesperson told us: “In the last five years, we have received no consumer contacts regarding choking incidents from our products in the UK. 

“We have noted the findings of the Advertising Standards Agency with regards to this advert and had already taken the advert offline, to minimize any concern.”

Wrigley said consumer safety was of upmost importance and said NGO Clearcast independently checks all its broadcast ads against the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Gum, Mars, Ingredients

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