Category Archives: Misleading ads

Spirit Airlines takes the piss out of BP

Spirit Airlines, whose previous attempts at humor have included a Tiger Woods-themed sale, has now put together a tasteless oil-spill-related promotion (themed “Best Protection,” or “BP”) for flights to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Atlantic City, N.J., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The tagline, “Check out the oil on our beaches.”


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Filed under Brand Damage, Misleading ads

Climate change ad attracts complaints

A week-old  TV ad in the UK warning people about the impact of climate change has drawn 203 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is spending £6m on the ad, which was created by AMV BBDO, to promote its Act on CO2 carbon reduction initiative.

The ad uses the device of a children’s storybook, which shows a British town deep under water, with people and animals drowning. Carbon dioxide is shown rising from cars, homes and everyday appliances in clouds of black soot, which then form a jagged-toothed monster.

While most complaints claim the ad is misleading, some have also said it is frightening for children.

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Filed under Controversial ad, Misleading ads, Negative PR

Sex Pistols attack ice cream


Sex Pistols‘ lawyers have threatened an ice cream company with legal action because of similarities in their advertising campaign and the band’s artwork and lyrics.

London-based company Icecreamists‘ online advertisements feature a picture of the Queen backed by a Union flag, with an ice cream spoon in her mouth and the words “God save the cream” written across her face.

Speaking about the dispute, Icecreamists‘ founder Matt O’Connor said he was surprised that the band appear to be concerned.


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Filed under Brand Damage, Controversial ad, Misleading ads, Negative PR, PR Stunt

WWF – Respect our planet

Video removed – Censorship by DDB Brasil and youtube

Looks like it has appeared again elsewhere on Youtube.

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Filed under Controversial ad, Misleading ads, Negative PR, PR Stunt, Product launch, Viral, Youtube

WWF controversial 9/11 ad – creatives sacked


This is the controversial ad that the Brazilian ad agency DDB ‘made on spec’  as part of a pitch but rejected by the WWF.

The newspaper advert features dozens of planes on a collision course for New York landmarks, beneath the slogan: “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11” and the environmental charity’s panda logo.

It was apparently intended to raise awareness of the greater dangers posed by environmental disasters like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, in comparison to terrorist attacks.

Reports claim hat it was published only once in a small Brazilian newspaper at the agency’s expense – apparently so that it would be eligible for awards. A video version of the advert has also been obtained by Gawker, the New York gossip blog .

This seems to be a complete overreaction to this ad. Yes 9/11 was a terrible outrage committed by terrorists. Yes natural disasters can be much worse than terrorist attacks but why whats wrong with the comparison? It seems that DDB sacked the creatives behind the ad even though the local office of the WWF signed-off on the ad. Hardly fair.

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Filed under Advertising agency, Blog, Blogger Outreach, Brand Damage, Brand Equity, Brands, Controversial ad, Crisis PR, Misleading ads, Negative PR, Newspapers, PR, PR Stunt, Print ads

Banned German Sprite Ad

We have reposted because Youtube have pulled this ad, thanks to Ach go háirithe for letting tipping us off.

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Filed under Brand Damage, Brands, Controversial ad, Misleading ads, PR, Social Media, Viral

Going too far with Green


British green electricity supplier could be in hot water after a competitor commenced legal action over a possible breach of copyright.

Ecotricity, which develops wind farms and provides electricity to more than 40,000 UK homes claims that the Green Energy Day green Union flag is too similar to its own branding, which it has been using for two years.

A spokeswoman for Ecotricity said: “A lot of our customers have been contacting us, confused by the EDF branding.

“We know you cannot trademark a flag, but we feel that we have a good case because the colours are so similar.”

Ecotricity ran an ad using its own green flag to welcome the Prime Minister Gordon Brown to power in 2007.

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Filed under Brand Damage, Brand Equity, Brands, Controversial ad, Misleading ads, PR