Kevin the Carrot gets the chop after a single complaint about an Aldi advert

An "irresponsible" Aldi TV ad has been given the chop following just one complaint that an animated carrot called Kevin could attract kids to alcohol.

The ad featuring computer generated carrot Kevin was screened extensively as part of the cut price supermarket's Christmas campaign.

Kevin was feeling a little bit tense. He thought there were spirits

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But watchdogs launched an investigation following a single complaint that the ad was "irresponsible" because it was likely to have "strong appeal" to people under 18 years of age.

The complaint was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which banned Aldi from showing it again.

The supermarket was also warned that future ads for alcohol must not be likely to appeal to youngsters.

In the ad, Kevin stated: "I see dead parsnips" - a parody of horror film The Sixth Sense, starring Bruce Willis.

A voice-over then stated: "Kevin was feeling a little bit tense. He thought there were spirits. He had a sixth sense. As it turned out his instincts were right."

The voice over added: "There were a few spirits that cold Christmas night.

"Award winning bottles for raising a toast and one frightened carrot had just seen a ghost".

The ad ended with Kevin being frightened by another character dressed-up as a ghost with a white blanket over them.

Aldi bosses stated that whilst Kevin was intended to be "humorous", it wasn't designed to have specific appeal to under-18s.

Aldi believed much of the humour in the situations in which Kevin had been placed since his first appearance in 2016 was of a nature that would be more appealing to adults than to children.

And the firm stated the target audience for their Christmas campaign were adults.

Aldi stated the ad was part of their 2017 Christmas campaign in which Kevin played a part in a number of parodies of well-known films.

The firm said The Sixth Sense was rated certificate 15 in the UK and therefore, not suitable for children under 15 years of age.

And Aldi pointed out that because the ad was promoting alcohol, it was scheduled in accordance with guidelines so it wasn't aired in programmes likely to appeal to kids.

But the ASA found the ad to be in breach of rules regarding children and alcohol, and banned it.

An ASA spokesman said: "We considered that Kevin the Carrot appeared to be childlike and had a high-pitched voice, similar to that of a young child.

"Furthermore, we understood Kevin was sold as a soft toy during the Christmas period and was popular amongst under 18-year-olds, particularly young children.

"We therefore considered that Kevin was likely to have strong appeal to audiences under the age of 18."

He continued: "We also considered the Christmas theme of the ad contributed to the likelihood of Kevin having strong appeal to under-18s.

"We noted that choir music was played in the background whilst the voice-over told a short and simple narrative poem.

"Although the content of the dialogue and poem - which made use of a pun on "spirits" - was not typical content for children, we considered the tone was reminiscent of a children's story, therefore it was likely to resonate with and strongly appeal to younger children.

"Furthermore, we considered the ending of the ad showing Kevin being frightened by another character dressed-up as a ghost would be particularly funny for younger children and consequently, contributed to the overall effect of the ad having strong appeal to under-18s.

"Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to appeal strongly to people under18 and given that it was promoting alcohol, we concluded was irresponsible."

He added: "The ad must not appear again in its current form.

"We told Aldi that their future ads for alcohol must not be likely to appeal strongly to people under 18 years of age."

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