'Distressing' Kayak.co.uk brain operation advert banned
Wednesday 28 November 2012
A television advert featuring a surgeon carrying out a brain operation while organising a holiday online has been banned following 441 complaints that it was offensive, distressing and insulting to the medical profession.
The ad for holiday website Kayak.co.uk showed the surgeon "poking around" in the brain before typing on a laptop positioned on the patient.
After a discussion between the surgeon and a nurse about the ethics of the manoeuvre, the surgeon replied sarcastically: "Well, I guess you're the brains of this operation" before moving the patient's arms as if he were punching the nurse, while a voice-over stated: "Go to Kayak.co.uk and you could save up to 20% on your next flight. Kayak. Search one and done."
The ad was cleared for broadcast with no timing restriction.
Of the 441 complaints received by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), "a number" found it offensive, 25 were concerned that it could be distressing to children and 16 believed it was insulting to surgeons and the medical profession in general.
Others including people who had either undergone brain surgery or were about to, and some who had lost family members to brain tumours and other neurological conditions, complained that the ad was "distressing and deeply upsetting".
Kayak acknowledged that "humour could offend at times", and said it tested its advertising for clarity, entertainment value and acceptability but did not see any abnormal research for the campaign in question.
The ad was "so obviously a parody that it was not offensive", and "was neither intended to portray real-life drama nor to prey on fear or anxiety", the company said.
The ASA rejected all the complaints except for those made by viewers who had either personally experienced brain surgery or who had family members who had undergone or were about to undergo that type of surgery.
It said: "Although we understood the ad was intended to be a humorous depiction of someone pressed for time searching for a holiday, we noted a number of complainants had found it distressing and some had found it sickening and deeply offensive because of their personal experience.
"We considered the ad's flippant treatment of a serious and recognisably real situation was likely to cause distress and serious offence to those viewers who had been affected by the type of operation depicted in the ad. We considered the ad was likely to cause distress without justifiable reason and serious offence to some viewers and therefore concluded it breached the Code."
It ruled that the ad must no longer be broadcast in its present form.
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This established Digital Agency based in East ...
£35 - 45K + COMMISSION (NEG): Guru Careers: A Sales Director / Business Develo...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...