'Dangerous' chewing gum ad banned

A television ad featuring a woman chewing gum while playing football has been banned over concerns that children could emulate the "dangerous" practice.

The ad for Wrigley's Extra gum showed the woman chewing while dressed in football kit on a pitch, appearing to be about to take a penalty kick.

Two viewers complained that the ad condoned or encouraged a dangerous practice and featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate.

The Wrigley Company said it supported a response from ad clearance agency Clearcast, who said it considered the ad to be acceptable because it did not show the woman in full motion while chewing gum.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the five-a-side game depicted in the ad was a scene familiar to many viewers, including children.

It said the voice-over "But her legs are trembling, not yours. Time to shine" condoned and encouraged chewing gum while playing sports.

It said: "We understood there had been several reported incidents of people choking on gum whilst playing sports. We therefore considered that chewing gum whilst playing sports was an unsafe practice and one which could be dangerous for children to emulate.

"As such, because the ad condoned and encouraged chewing gum while playing sport, we concluded that the ad breached the Code."

It ruled that the ad must not be shown again in its current form, adding: "We told The Wrigley Company not to show people chewing gum while playing sport in any future ads."

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