Creative review: Are banned ads actually bad?

Daisy Doctor
By Daisy Doctor | 18 October 2017
Skittles has had its ads banned several times

This is a snapshot from the October issue of AdNews. To read the full feature, subscribe to the print edition or download a digital version here.

Controversy is the oldest trick in the book. But, while risk-taking and great creative work goes hand-in-hand, sometimes it can fall foul of public opinion, and in the worst case, regulations. But getting it wrong isn’t always a bad thing, as some of these contentious ads prove.

Creatives from Ikon, M&C Saatchi and The Royals weigh in on work from UBank, Skittles, McDonald's, Sportsbet and Pepsi.

Ikon Sydney ECD Rob Martin Murphy: "Life. Death. Drugs. Saccharinity. Sounds like a recipe for advertising disaster. Now that the outrage brigade has turned its attention to more important things, allow me to give you my two cents worth on these in the cold light of hindsight."

M&C Saatchi integrated designer Chi Yusef: "From having a cheeky laugh to attempting to capitalise on tragedy, overall it seems brands go wrong when they attach themselves to something unrelated."

The Royals head of strategy Michaela Futcher: "Two of these ads are spot on. They know their target and their brand. The rest are varying levels of brand narcissism, marketers with their heads in the clouds. I’m less concerned with who they upset anyone than if they worked."

To read the full feature, subscribe to the print edition or download a digital version here.

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