Viewer takes exception to Mweb’s hamster advert

2010-11-27 00:00

MOST have seen and snickered at MWEB’s uncapped ADSL advert which shows a hamster running furiously on a wheel which, in turn, lights up a neon sign advertising the product.

However, one viewer took exception and voiced her concern to the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA).

Ms A. Wessels submitted the treadmill goes uncontrollably faster with the mouse still on it and stated it was only a matter of time before “some psycho” tries this at home.

“Adults must be careful about what is shown on television … Animals are at the mercy of human beings, usually to their detriment, and this commercial is not appropriate,” her complaint continued.

Attorneys Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer Inc. said, on behalf of MWEB, that the “hamster is running at an exaggerated speed … clearly over the top and not to be taken literally.”

After considering the complaint and defence, the ASA found:

“This is clearly an exaggerated scenario, especially when one considers that when the hamster is running at top speed, he is effectively a blur on the screen. A reasonable person would realise that this is not realistic, and would immediately recognise the hyperbole.”

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