ASA Starts Investigation into Elf Ads of Poundland

Photo by Michel Curi/Flickr

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has confirmed that it has started an investigation into the ads of Poundland that were released in the run-up to Christmas.

The social media output of the discount store chain went a bit NSFW, as the company tweeted numerous pictures featuring an elf getting up to all manner of mischief.

The risqué campaign has already got Twinings, a tea brand, hot and bothered, given that one of the products of the company was featured in one of the images.

During that time, Twinings stated: “We are aware of an image that is circulating that misuses our product. This is to confirm that we had no involvement in this and that it is obviously not reflective of our brand values.” Poundland then removed the branded product from the image.

Today, the ASA confirmed that it has “received around 80 complaints about the Poundland tweets.”

“The general nature of the complaints is that the ads (tweets) are offensive for their depiction of toy characters and other items which have been displayed in a sexualised manner, and are unsuitable to be displayed in an untargeted medium where children could see them,” said a spokesperson from ASA.

“I can confirm that we have launched an investigation.”

As a reply, Poundland stated: “Storm in a tea cup. It’s actually 23 complaints contrasted with thousands of people who said they loved our naughty elf pictures – not least because it reminded them that Britain is famous for the saucy postcard and panto.

“We’re just pleased the number of people who didn’t get the joke is so small.”