Marmite RSCPA/Child protective services ad leaves bad taste - 250 complaints to ASA

Rather expected, 250 viewers complained in the first day of the Marmites ads run. I told you that people would either love it or hate it, didn't I?

The complains say that the campaign trivializes work of animal charities and child protection agencies. The ad, below, which plays out the scenarios straight faced and with no hint of it being fake until one sees the marmite jars, can just like Marmite leave a bad taste for those who don't like it.

Marmite Neglect

While I usually roll my eyes at most of the ASA complaint waves, I am just like the complainers not amused this time. While absurdities like a Marmite Protection service is a hilarously odd idea, and would make a great skit on Little Britain or your favorite comedy show when played this straight, it got a little too real to be funny as an advert. It does seem to trivialize the life-saving efforts made by child protection services and RSPCA by making it all about an inanimate object. The ASA are now looking into the matter. The Spokesperson for Marmite who spoke to the Guardian has it right - people will either love it or hate it. Just like Marmite.

"It is never our intention to cause offence," said a spokeswoman for Marmite, which is best known for its strapline "Love it or hate it". "We have made every effort to ensure that this commercial entertains anyone who watches it. We believe we have created an unmistakably Marmite ad – people will either love it or hate it and they certainly won't forget it. We hope that everyone will watch and enjoy this commercial in the lighthearted way it was intended."

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

Marmite is a product that you either love or hate. So the ads kind of *should* be polarizing, if only to make people talk about if they love of hate it. It's a thing, you can never guess by looking at people who loves or hates it.

In that sense, this ad is doing great. Everyone is talking about whether they love or hate this ad (if you look at the press) and I presume there's water-cooler conversations going on all over the UK. And that reminds them of the products core question: do you love it or hate ?

They even have that one odd kid out at the end in the happy family, who makes the "ugh I hate this" face as they all eat their toast.

Let that sink in, in the ad for a product one of the bite and smiles is a bite-and-ugh.

That's genius.

missadvert's picture

There's something kinda gross about the idea of opened Marmite jars sitting in someone's cupboard being "adopted" by another family.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

Some people think the same thing about international adoption.