The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected complaints that a commercial for Diet Coke featuring Welsh singer Duffy conflicted with health and safety practices, and was inappropriately influential for children under 12.
The advert showed the “Mercy” singer riding through empty streets on a bicycle and into a supermarket before returning to sing the encore at her concert. During the sequence, she sang a song with the refrain, “I’ve got to be free.”
In total, 18 complaints were received by the ASA that challenged the Universal Music artist’s lack of safety and protective gear whilst riding a bike and a further four complaints challenged that her behavior could be emulated by children.
Coca-Cola Great Britain responded by saying the ad was not meant to reflect a real-life situation, and if she had been wearing a helmet and reflective clothing, the scene would still be anchored in reality.
According to a statement on the ASA Web site, the drinks company also said it had gone through a “vigorous process early in production to ensure they met the criteria set by the Highway Code in terms of riding a bicycle on public roads.”
In reference to the complaints concerning younger viewers of the ad, Coca-Cola outlined that it would not target any marketing of its drinks to children under 12 years of age. The ad had also been given an ex-kids restriction, which excluded it from being screened before, during or immediately after children’s TV shows.
After consideration of Coca-Cola’s response, the ASA ruled that no further action be taken against the complaints.