Barnardo’s drops ‘offensive’ adverts

Barnardo’s has been forced to withdraw a series of advertisements
that included a baby with a cockroach crawling out of its mouth
after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled they were “likely
to cause serious or widespread offence”.

The adverts, which appeared in national newspapers, were part of
the children’s charity’s campaign to end child poverty. But the ASA
launched an inquiry after receiving 450 complaints that they were
offensive and unduly distressing.

Barnardo’s had defended its campaign by likening it to those for
road-safety and anti-smoking campaigns, which it said caused
distress with good reason, but the advertising watchdog rejected
its justification.

The campaign was prompted by an NOP survey that found 86 per cent
of the public questioned were unaware that child poverty existed in
the UK.

Director of marketing and communications Andrew Nebel said: “We
hoped the readers of the advertisements would be able to look
beyond the challenging images and realise that the real issue is
the shocking fact that the UK has some of the worst child poverty
of all developed nations.”

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