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Compare Travel Insurance Media Room Advert banned for being grotesquely obese

Advert banned for being grotesquely obese

14 May, 2012 By Natali Mansberg

Advert banned for being grotesquely obese

Date published: 14 May 2012

The award winning Compare Travel Insurance, ‘Save Yourself the Risk’ advertisement is back in action after being banned for discrimination against obesity in late 2011.

 The dwarf, the fat man and the chainsaw have tidied up their act and have been allowed back on air. After receiving Mumbrella’s ad of the month in December 2011 the advertisement received mixed reviews as it pushed the boundaries of the Advertising Standards Bureau.   

 The ad portrays Eugene, a traveller, whose holiday experience is affected by the presence of a very fat man (‘Big Risk’) and a dwarf (‘Little Risk’).     

 Media spokesperson for Compare Travel Insurance, Natalie Ball said that original advertisement sparked significant controversy amongst a number of viewers.

 “The original ‘Save Yourself the Risk’ campaign received a great response, some were amused others not so much.” she said. “It was disappointing to learn that the ad had been banned -we wanted to entertain not offend.”

 A scene portraying a half-naked obese man receiving a massage from a disgusted masseuse flagged the attention of the Advertising Standards Bureau. Complaints of discrimination were deemed offensive and demeaning to overweight people - the scene was removed and replaced with half-naked models on rollerblades.

 “The majority of the board determined that the overall tone of the advertisement was light-hearted –slapstick’ humour – we want to uphold the ad’s original intention,” Ball said.  

 Jeff Purser, creative director at Blow Communications agency, was the artistic mind responsible for one of 2011 funniest advertisements. Knowing the ad would receive mixed reviews from the public; Jeff was determined to have his infamous Eugene return to TV.

 "An ad campaign with an edge gets stronger cut-through, and it’s refreshing to work with a client with the ingenuity and sense of humour to understand that," said Mr Purser.

 Eugene, Big Risk and Little Risk will now live to see another day. You can find more Eugene videos, blog posts and photos online. To view the new advertisement follow this link.

Contributor Natali Mansberg

Natali Mansberg

Natali is a former kids magazine writer whose credits include working for the mouse (Mickey that is). An avid traveller, Natali spent part of her childhood in Israel and enjoyed several stints across the globe. Having worked in travel insurance for three years, Natali likes to simplify the fine-print and help Aussies make sense of their insurance policies. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and one-year old son.

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