Controversial Consol Glass ad of little girl playing with a glass jar can stay on air

Running‚ jumping and climbing on monkey bars holding a glass jar is not a good idea — particularly for children.

That was the message the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had for glass manufacturer Consol Glass who ran a television advertisement depicting a little girl doing exactly that in a play park

Four parents complained to the ASA about a Consol Glass advert showing the child emptying a glass jar full of cookies. The girl then goes into a public park with the glass in hand‚ comes down a slide‚ sitting on and hanging from monkey bars‚ running after children in their bikes‚ lying on the merry-go-round and swaying the jar to and fro beneath the swings.

She later goes home to her blind grandmother‚ opens the jar and makes her listen to all the sounds from the park.

The complainants argued children watching the advert could emulate what they saw in it‚ thereby exposing themselves to “potential” injuries.

“The commercial is irresponsible and should be removed‚” the complainants argued.

In its response‚ Consol Glass argued that the advert was not likely to influence children‚ “does not appeal to them and would not encourage them to behave in any particular manner”

Consol Glass also explained that the advert was aimed at adults between the ages of 24 and 54 and that it was flighted during shows that were not meant for children.

The company explained that the advert was well received by the majority of its consumers.

They said this indicated “that the overwhelming majority of consumers understood the commercial for what it is and would not regard it as problematic”.

Consol Glass further argued that the advert was not real and would not encourage children to emulate the depicted behaviour.

ASA accepted that the advert was not meant for children.

“The directorate is satisfied that the flighting of the commercial at these times does not raise a question…”

The directorate‚ however‚ noted that the advert was also flighted during children’s shows.

“This means that there would presumably be instances where children were likely to be exposed to this commercial as parents would not instinctively feel the need to monitor their child’s viewing of such shows.”

“To a young child‚ unaware of the inherent danger in the depicted actions and unaware that the depicted action is impossible‚ this could seem particularly appealing‚” ASA found.

The advertising body did not order the company to withdraw the advert but said it must ensure that its scheduling did not include instances where children might be watching unsupervised.