Adverts that got it wrong – some of the most politically incorrect adverts
2021 – A time which political correctness is at its highest point
To be politically correct means to avoid ways of discrimination towards groups of people (women, ethnic minorities, the LGBT+ community, immigrants…) who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. A study conducted by Pew Research has concluded that 53% of respondents believe that people are too easily offended by what other say.
Contrarily, 44% of respondents believe people should be careful of what they say to avoid discrimination towards minority groups.
Often, television adverts are common to reflect directors’ views on minorities, and society’s outdated values. Here are some of the most politically incorrect adverts to ever have been shown on UK television.
Here are some of the most politically incorrect British television adverts:
Yorkie Advert – “It’s not for girls”
The chocolate bar Yorkie has always had a representation for being sexist. To be sexist is to be stereotypical, prejudicial, or discriminatory against a specific sex – typically against women. The chocolate bar – which is created by Nestle, a Swizz chocolate company – previously catered the chocolate bar’s target audience towards men. The wrapper adopted a remark which was noted to be sexist in 2001, eventually stopping in 2011. The wrapper explicitly stated, “it’s not for girls”.
Despite the wrapper of the chocolate bar being noted to be sexist, an advert caused further controversy due to sexism. The advert showcased a woman, who disguised in masculine workers clothes, trying to buy a Yorkie bar from a shop owner. The shop owner pursues to test her to see if she is a man or a woman by asking a variety of questions, such as explain the offside rule.
Pot Noodle Advert – “the sl*g of all snacks” and “the horn”
Pot Noodle advertisements are also reputed to be extremely politically incorrect, with many of their advertisements having been banned from television. Similar to the Yorkie bar, the popular British instant noodle snack has previously used politically incorrect marketing. The company has previously labelled the snack “the sl*g of all snacks”, an incredibly offensive word, which offended many people. Countless complaints were submitted, which lead to the withdrawal of the campaign.
Despite the offensive label, the company also produced a television advert that was deemed sexist. The advert involved a man whose wife will only make him sandwiches. Because of this, the man walks through a red-light district, in search of someone else who make him a Pot Noodle.
The Guardian claim that during 2002, the advertisement was the most complained campaign of the year, as it reached “a record [of] 310 people contacte[ing]d the ITC to complain about the use of the word “sl*g”.
In addition, another advert created by Pot Noodle shown obvious sexual innuendos that were showcased before the national watershed that is 9 PM.
Pepsi advert – Pepsi protest advert
American company Pepsi faced huge backlash in 2017, due to an advert that was focusing on selling a soft drink during a protest. Starring model Kendal Jenner, people were quick to react due to the “blindness” of the advertisement, as protests are a common way of minority groups standing up against the current political system.
The advert shows Kendal Jenner being herself – a model – in which she walks through a protest that contains a mixture of minorities (ethnic minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities…). Furthermore, Jenner finally opens the soft drink and hands it to a police officer which the protesters cheer in support of.
Many people disapproved of the advert, as it was showcased during the Black Lives Matter movement – a controversial movement in America over police brutality towards ethnic minorities. The advert was instantly pulled by Pepsi, with the company conveying “Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace, and understanding”. Moreover, the model also received backlash in which she apologised as well.
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