Picture: CONSOL GLASS WEBSITE
Picture: CONSOL GLASS WEBSITE

Running‚ jumping and climbing on monkey bars holding a glass jar is not a good idea — particularly for children.

That was the message the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had for glass manufacturer Consol Glass, which ran a television advert depicting a little girl doing exactly that in a park.

Four parents complained to the ASA about a Consol Glass advert showing the child emptying a glass jar full of cookies. The girl then goes into a public park with the glass in hand‚ comes down a slide‚ sits on, and hangs from, monkey bars‚ runs after children on their bikes‚ lies on a merry-go-round and sways the jar to and fro beneath the swings.

She later goes home to her blind grandmother‚ and opens the jar to let her listen to all the sounds from the park.

The complainants argued that children watching the advert could emulate what they saw in it‚ thereby exposing themselves to "potential" injuries.

"The commercial is irresponsible and should be removed‚" the complainants argued.

In its response‚ Consol Glass argued that the advert was not likely to influence children‚ "does not appeal to them [to mimic the behaviour in the advert] and would not encourage them to behave in any particular manner".

Consol Glass also explained that the advert was aimed at adults between the ages of 24 years and 54 years, and that it was flighted during shows that were not meant for children.

The company explained that the advert was well received by the majority of its consumers. It said this indicated "that the overwhelming majority of consumers understood the commercial for what it is and would not regard it as problematic".

The ASA accepted that the advert was not meant for children.

"The directorate is satisfied that the flighting of the commercial at these times does not raise a question." However, it noted that the advert was also flighted during children’s shows.

"This means that there would presumably be instances where children were likely to be exposed to this commercial, as parents would not instinctively feel the need to monitor their child’s viewing of such shows."

"To a young child‚ unaware of the inherent danger in the depicted actions and unaware that the depicted action is impossible‚ this could seem particularly appealing‚" ASA found.

The advertising body did not order the company to withdraw the advert but said it must ensure that its scheduling did not include instances where children might be watching unsupervised.

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