Grill’d campaign found to have breached ad standards

The chain’s recent ads were criticised as 'inappropriate'.

An advertisement by Grill’d is found to have breached advertising standards, following complaints over scenes that allegedly suggested sexual violence against children.

In a recent report, the Ad Standards Panel ruled that the campaign breached Sections 2.3 and 2.4 of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics, which relate to the depiction of violence and sexual content.

Both versions of the ad, a 15-second and a 30-second clip, starts with an animated clown—which some complainants say is a Ronald McDonald look-a-like—in an alleyway standing facing two children and opening his trench coat, which is then shown to reveal plastic toys.

“The majority of the Panel considered that the opening scene of the advertisement, where the children were cornered in the alley and the clown opens his trench coat, was menacing and suggestive of sexualised violence. The Panel considered that even though the moment was resolved as being the clown showing the children toys in his coat, the suggestion of sexual violence at the start of the advertisement was extremely inappropriate in an advertisement for burgers,” the report said.

In response to the breaches, the report said that Grill’d “will take steps to modify the advertisement to take into account the Panel’s concerns.”

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