Poundland’s £25 marketing campaign results in ASA complaints

Posted: January 5, 2018

Those of you who caught some of Poundland’s festive tweets, which were a risqué variation of #elfontheshelf, will probably not be surprised to learn that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received over 80 complaints about the #ElfBehavingBad campaign, according to The Drum.

The campaign featured images of an elf in sexualised situations and poses. One had an elf standing over a prostrate female doll with a tea bag between his groin and her mouth. In the background was a box of Twinings tea, and the image carried the tagline: “How do you like your tea? One lump or two?”

Twinings subsequently posted on Twitter: “We are aware of an image that is circulating that misuses our product. This is to confirm that we had no involvement in this and that it is obviously not reflective of our brand values.”

Perhaps the brand also made a more robust complaint to the retailer in private, as the tweet was subsequently deleted and replaced with one featuring the same image but without the box of branded tea bags. This had the tagline: “Spot the difference…”

The campaign resulted in thousands of likes, comments, and retweets and Poundland’s marketing director Mark Pym was quoted in The Sun as saying: “We’re proud of a campaign that’s only cost £25.53 and is being touted as the winning marketing campaign this Christmas!”