Poundland stirs controversy with ‘naughty’ Easter ad campaign

Gabby Jeffries March 26, 2018
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Poundland’s Easter ad campaign is attracting controversy over its sexual imagery.

The discount chain launched an ad campaign on social media this week for Easter, featuring a bunny and chick.

They include some cheeky imagery – with one picture featuring the bunny ‘branding’ a chick on the rear end.

Poundland said: “I’ve got a way to make you hot and cross, Bunny.”

Another featured a bunny spying on chicks, adding: “Spring in his step, Bunny goes birdwatching.”

The posts have attracted a lot of comments – both positive and negative.

Some questioned whether the posts were appropriate, while others mocked the “snowflakes” that would be “triggered” by the ads.

Cynics suggested the campaign was a cheap way for the brand to get media exposure.

Poundland appeared to confirm this when it posted a follow-up message today.

It featured chick and bunny reading a newspaper with the headline ‘Poundland does it again’, with the caption “I’m afraid side-chick, some of the papers say it’s Bad Hare Day.”

The brand previously launched a similar campaign at Christmas.

That campaign attracted anger for featuring an elf ‘teabagging’ a doll wearing a ‘Girl Power’ t-shirt.

It was eventually banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, which ruled against Poundland’s obscene ads.

Deliberately-offensive ad campaigns themselves are nothing new.

Betting company Paddy Power notoriously ran ads for years that made fun of disabled people, women, Christians and minorities – culminating in a “spot the trans lady” ad that was banned by the ASA in 2012 after hundreds of complaints.

While execs insisted that all publicity is good publicity, the betting company was ultimately left with a toxic brand despised by many – and later abandoned the strategy to move towards more conventional advertising.


It only restored some of its reputation with the LGBT community after partnering with Stonewall to sponsor its long-running ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign.

In other news, it was recently revealed that gay-themed adverts dominate the list of the most complained-about ads.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority released a list of the 10 adverts which received the most complaints from the public in 2017.

Clocking in at number eight, with 125 complaints is an ad from mobile phone brand O2, which featured two men kissing – and one of them breaking their phone’s screen as they are pressed into a table.

Meanwhile an ad for featuring a number of couples passionately kissing attracted 293 complaints over the inclusion of a lesbian couple – enough to place it fourth on the list.

Meanwhile, a long-running and much-maligned ad campaign for Moneysupermarket, which features men dancing in high heels, racked up a massive 455 complaints last year – putting it in second place.

More: ad, advert, campaign, easter, Gay, LGBT, Poundland

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