'Mastication' ads fall foul of ASA

06 April, 2007

Cadbury's Trebor Bassett was ordered to withdraw its TV ads for Trident chewing gum after a number of viewers claimed they were "offensive and racist ".

The four Mastication for the Nation ads, which showed characters speaking in strong Caribbean accents, were found to be breaching the CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code following an investigation by the ASA.

Although the ASA ruled that the ads were not racist, it said the stereotype depicted had "unintentionally caused deep offence to a significant minority of viewers ".

The ad campaign had already ended when the ruling was made. However, Cadbury said it had carried out research with the general population and representatives of the African Carribean community before going ahead with the campaign, which it said was supposed to depict a humorous and tongue-in-cheek "gum revolution".

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