When rebrands go wrong

(And how to avoid the pitfalls)

Barclays ad accused of encouraging 'parasitic' behaviour

A Barclays ad featuring a girl demanding increasingly expensive gifts from her father as she progresses through life has been accused of portraying children as “parasitic”.

The BBH created television spot, dubbed “you versus unconditional love”, shows a demanding daughter insisting her father buys her a bike, horse, car and house.

The Advertising Standards Authority spot had received eight complaints to Friday (25 February). Complainants said the ad could encourage children to imitate the character in the ad.

A spokeswoman for Barclays says the ad is intended to be a “playful exaggeration on the reality of parenthood” and the costs involved in bringing children up. She adds the “majority of responses [to the ad] have been very positive”.

The ASA is currently assessing the complaints to decide whether to launch a formal investigation.

Readers' comments (18)

  • I personally thought the advert was engaging and sends a clear message. It is an exaggeration of what happens in reality and I think people are just complaining more and more making it harder for Marketers. There are some justified complaints but I do not think this is one of them!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Someone has missed the point here! It is far more likely that this cruel advertising campaign will promote hatred against children than anything else. (The advertising industry are past masters at stimulating pester power.)

    It is interesting that the accusers - Barclays with others, have in recent times, been aptly accused of being parasitical themselves.

    By attributing this hatred on to children, the bank would seem to be trying to deflect their negative image onto an extremely vulnerable group instead.

    It is also an own goal for BBH who, as well as Barclays, represent Barnados as another of their clients. Barnados, as protectors of children, should be quite disgusted by BBH and their tactics for seducing adults, on behalf of bankers, at the expense of the dignity and safety of children.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Unbelivable that Barclays have now dehumoured this advert by removing the word parasitic (was on Sky 1 tonight with word removed).
    This was a very humourous advert which has now been ruined no doubt down to a tiny number of PC complainers.
    If people attribute this to a hatred of children as Juliet suggests, these people have more serious issues which they should address through therapy.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think this ad was just supposed to be a bit of fun,you know fun? That thing where you have a laugh and don't take things so seriously.oh no hang on this is britain,the home of miserable .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Parasitic MEANS depending on the host to survive. Is there any doubt this is what children are?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Its only meant for fun...get a grip! Children are parasites anyway

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I don't need therapy Chris Johnson,I found the advert offensive, but then I am a woman and a mother and grandmother, I did laugh at first but only because of a bank calling a child a parasite.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Rowan Miller- get a life for crying out loud! Its people like you whose only joy is to moan about pointless things. Start living in the real world

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I believe the anonymous person here is getting uptight and possibly the creator of the add? what passion!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I'm a mother of a two year old but would like to think that doesn't necessarily mean they removed my sense of humour along with the placenta... I thought the ad was well observed, humourous and fun. Why do we have to take everything so literally and so seriously in this country? Lets get a grip!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page

Have your say

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Job of the Week

Top Jobs

social

+media Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
knowledge+bank