International Sales News - As Seen on TV Products

International news, issues, and trends for innovative consumer products in the direct response television industry (DRTV), as well as tips for export management & international product sales. This blog focuses on the As Seen on TV product category.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ads Pulled From UK TV As A Result of US Complaints

Recently two television advertisements airing on UK TV were pulled completely off the air after the Advertising Standard Authority received hundreds of complaints that the ads were offensive. However, it was not UK citizens that were upset by the ads; it was US citizens who demanded the advertisements be taken off the air in the UK.

The ads in question were for Heinz Deli Mayo and Snickers. The Heinz ad featured two men briefly kissing and the Snickers ads that feautred Mr. T was thought to be offensive to gay people. After receiving pressure from US lobbyists, and fearing US boycotts, the two companies pulled their ads and apologized for offending anyone.

What it so interesting about this is that neither of the advertisements were ever aired in the US. How could so many US citizens be so offended by a television ad that never aired on US TV? Of course, because of the Internet; the Internet has created an environment where nothing, including ads, is purely local anymore. Consumers of one culture now have the ability to influence and change what those in another country see. As Heinz and Snickers are American brands, Americans feel they should have a say in how these companies market themselves internationally.

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