Chainsaw advert cuts a little too deep for some
Tue, 31 Mar 2009 12:00a.m.
An advertisement for a brand of chainsaws that makes light of a deathbed scene has drawn criticism for being insensitive and offensive.
While it has upset a few viewers, the ad's makers say it was never intended to offend.
In the commercial, as a grieving family gathers around a dying patriarch, the old man issues a final instruction to his favourite son: "Look after your mother."
It is a touching, poignant moment, and an opportunity for a selfish son: "He said I can have his chainsaw."
It is humour of the blackest kind, but a conservative media standards watchdog says the ad, for chainsaw manufacturer Stihl, has crossed a line.
"I was really horrified," says Adrian Cooper of Media Matters in NZ. "I thought, this is not good enough. It's simply not good enough, and it's not the New Zealand I know."
The ad prompted a flurry of complaints to the Broadcasting and Advertising Standards authorities.
"I think that any mature, responsible, thinking adults looking at that would find it offensive," says Mr Cooper.
The chainsaw company has also been on the receiving end.
"We have had four or five people since Sunday night, when the ad first went to air, contact us and say, 'Do you really think that's in good taste?'" says Jim Bibby of Stihl.
So far the ad makers have resisted the urge to tell their critics to get a life.
"It's a shame, it's a pity some people feel that way," says Toby Talbot of DDB NZ. "I think, generally speaking, a lot of people see it for what it is - it is actually quite a light-hearted ad."
Whether any guidelines have been breached will be decided by the Advertising Standards Authority, but for now, the ad lives to play another day.
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2/04/2009 1:25:13 p.m.
I was getting ready to protest after seeing the preamble to the Campbell Live article. After seeing the ad, I couldn't stop laughing. Get a life you lot while you still have one. Dying is part of life, and a bit of humour only helps. I might add that I am a fan of imaginative ads, and consider this one very good.
1/04/2009 8:47:35 p.m.
This has nothing to do with being "PC - ie politically correct" its a cheapening of what should still be regarded as a serious and poignant experience in a society that values and respects family. But wait - is it possible that 'PC' now stands for 'Past Caring'?
1/04/2009 4:53:31 p.m.
Michael Lynch wrote:
It's a nice, humorous spot and deservedly was picked as www.bestadsontv.com spot of the week (in the world) this week. Well done to DDB New Zealand.
1/04/2009 3:12:59 p.m.
Well to those who want the ad off their screens go out of the room or turn the box off.I thought it was really funny. The marketing company deserves a big tick as it has certainly got people talking and that is the best kind of ad to have.Those poor wee souls who are offened you can get them back by never purchasing one of their chainsaws, oh but really if this add offends you you probably wouldn't have one anyway as not to hurt the trees!!
1/04/2009 12:06:26 p.m.
wasn't there a stell ar'tor add not so long ago along similar lines, i didn't hear a single complaint regarding that. People complaining seem to have forgotten they do have an off switch on their televisions
1/04/2009 9:36:39 a.m.
great ad, reminds me of the billy conolly joke. I don't remember people complaining about the advert for some beer that basically has the same kind of advert.
1/04/2009 8:28:05 a.m.
Let’s lighten up a bit. I thought the advert was hilarious! Whiners need to move somewhere more accommodating (I hear America is pretty PC!)
1/04/2009 8:11:30 a.m.
Stop being so sensitive. This ad made me laugh out loud. To those that see it as bad taste - get over yourself. Laugh a little. Its good for your health.
31/03/2009 9:00:30 p.m.
I agree with Reuben, moaners get a life.These academic PC tosspots are ruining NZ as I used to know it.
31/03/2009 8:57:20 p.m.
The advert is a good laugh. People who are complaining about this are far too P.C, chill out let the rest on New Zealanders have a laugh now and then. Its People like you that got rid of bullrush and wooden jungle gyms at primary schools. :)
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