His team may have choked at the Rugby World Cup, but there's nothing dangerous about the way All Black Leon MacDonald guzzles milk straight from the carton.
The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint from a television viewer concerned about the example set by MacDonald, who was shown swigging the remains of a two-litre container of Anchor Milk in an ad for New Zealand Dairy Foods.
The viewer, identified only as ATaylor, complained to the authority: "I tried to teach my children not to drink out of a bottle and ... players are drinking on the ad out of a bottle."
The authority ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed, despite public health efforts to stamp out saliva-borne infectious diseases such as meningococcal disease.
Its ruling said that, though drinking straight from the bottle was "not ideal", it was a small part of an advertisement that promoted a product with health benefits. The ad could not be said to encourage disregard for safety.
Last year the Advertising Standards Complaints Board ruled that a Keri fruit juice advertisement showing a father and son drinking from the same bottle should be pulled because it was "socially irresponsible", due to the risks of spreading germs through saliva.
Colenso BBDO, the agency that made the Anchor ad, said it received frequent complaints, some of which were worth a chuckle.
Auckland creative director Richard Maddocks said he once had a complaint about high-pitched whistling in an advertisement that "made a husband's wife's hearing aid go crazy". The man had asked the company to remove the ad from air, or to let him know when it was on so he could change channels.
Mr Maddocks contrasted the MacDonald complaint with The Sopranos: "There's foul language, murder and violence. But someone's complained about the fact that somebody's drinking milk out of the carton."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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