Hell Pizza puts topping on complaints list again

01:43, Jan 31 2009

Hell Pizza put the topping on the Advertising Standards Authority complaints list in 2007, after also having the most upsetting ads of 2006.

But Hell was not as spicy last year, with complaints about its HELL-O and its Adolf Hitler ads falling far short of 2006's "Lust Pizza" random mail out, which attracted 685.

The Lust Pizza promotion – in which condoms were sent to random letterboxes – was the most complained about ad in authority history , and the complaints were upheld.

Complaints about HELL-O – the Hell Pizza magazine set up because "all the others are crap" – numbered only 44, and were not upheld.

In at No 2, the Adolf Hitler Hell Pizza billboard ad attracted 32 complaints saying it was offensive to the Jewish community.

The billboard showed the World War 2 German dictator with a slice of pizza saying "it's possible to make people believe heaven is HELL".

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That complaint was settled when the billboards were removed by the advertiser.

The buxom bikini-clad "BK Girls" were third most complained about, with 29 complainants suggesting Burger King was using sex appeal to draw attention to their Double Whopper Burger.

Those complaints were upheld.

There were 1160 complaints received about 686 different advertisements in 2007, a 35 per cent increase in the number of ads, Authority executive director Hilary Souter said.

Of the 313 complaints found to have substance, 109 were upheld, and 72 settled, with 181 ads withdrawn voluntarily, she said.

Television ads attracted the highest number of complaints (35 per cent of the total), with misleading advertisements the most complained about (42 per cent).

The top 10 most complained about ads of 2007:

1. Hell Pizza, HELL-O magazine (44 complaints). Not upheld.

2. Hell Pizza, Adolf Hitler billboard (32). Settled.

3. Burger King, Texas Bacon Double Whopper Burger television ad (29). Upheld.

4. Land Transport New Zealand, television ad. Road safety ad with a graphic that said "if your mate's pissed You're Screwed" (23). Upheld, offensive language.

5. Charlie's Old Fashioned Lemon Soda, television ad. Children spy on a neighbour topless sunbathing, then they squeeze lemons to make a drink (23). Upheld, not socially responsible.

6. Charlie's Old Fashioned Lemon Soda Fireworks, television ad. A child lights fire crackers held in his mouth and fires rockets at others (21). Settled, after Fire Service expressed concern.

7. V Energy drink, television ad. An elderly couple talk about their wedding night, then a police officer reports they are having sex, as fireworks go off and animated cars bounce up and down (16). Upheld, offensive.

8. Mega V men's performance supplement, billboard. Two women and a man in a provocative pose, with the man and one woman kissing open-mouthed (16). Upheld, not appropriate for billboard display.

9. Prime Television, Weeds billboard. Used a large three-dimensional image of a marijuana reefer to advertise a TV programme (15). Settled, when television channel removed billboard.

10. Erotica Expo, billboard and website. A photo of breasts with the nipples visible, with the caption "Better sex, how hard can it be?" (15). Upheld in part, breasts and nipples likely to cause offence.

- NZPA