‘No nasty imports’ ad banned for offensive coronavirus jibe

A North London mattress company has managed to be offensive on many levels, and the ASA has acted fast on this one.


Someone probably thought they were making a joke, but it couldn’t be more tasteless if they tried. Linking concerns about coronavirus to immigrants is stooping to a racist low.

Vic Smith bedding even tried to defend itself by saying that the ad demonstrated the fact that its beds had been made in the UK “rather than sitting in a damp container sent from China.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Hersheys perhaps been over cautious by pulling an ad featuring its favourite ambassador, Bob Williams, the 94 year-old who gives away free chocolate bars in real life and gets a lot of hugs as a result.

Will other brands follow suit? There are plenty of ads that can be seen in a new light thanks to coronavirus and the vulnerability of the elderly: Cadbury is owned by the same company as Hershey, and its recent ad features a young man hugging his grandfather.

Then there’s Mother’s latest work for KFC, which is a whole minute of licking fingers.

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