ASA clears cat ad for Tesco's Hudl
Published 05/02/2014 | 00:32
A campaign for Tesco's Hudl tablet has been cleared following 43 complaints that footage of a cat falling short of a roof was offensive and encouraged animal cruelty.
The television and video-on-demand ad showed two young boys watching something off screen before bursting into laughter.
The older boy said: "Do you want to see it again? Watch, watch," before the shot changed to show a tablet device playing a clip of a cat attempting to jump from one roof to another, and missing with a screech.
On-screen text stated: "Let's watch... Let's laugh... Let's share... Let's Hudl."
Of the 43 complaints received by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), some challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and others felt it was likely to encourage cruelty to animals.
Tesco told the ASA that it did not believe the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence because the action took place in a natural, relaxed and informal setting, with much laughter, which it did not feel fitted with the notions of widespread offence or cruelty.
The retailer said the footage was licensed from a company that specialised in "cat funnies", and contact had been made with the animal's owner to ensure that it had not suffered any injury.
Tesco accepted there was "a naughtiness" to the ad, in that the children were laughing at the cat's mistimed jump, but it did not accept that this would encourage cruelty to animals or cause serious or widespread offence.
The ASA said: "Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers were likely to find the ad distasteful, we accepted that the ad simply showed the children's natural reaction to viewing a video clip which featured a cat misjudging a jump.
"We noted that the footage did not show the cat being encouraged or forced to jump and we therefore considered there was nothing in the ad that could be emulated or that was likely to encourage cruelty to animals.
"We concluded that the ad did not breach the code and that it did not require any scheduling restriction."