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Converse Ad Starring Millie Bobby Brown Gets Green Light In UK Despite Criticism
By Mikelle Leow, 01 Nov 2018
Video screenshot via Converse
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK may have banned several commercials from being screened, but it has given the green light to a spot featuring Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown in traffic.
The YouTube ad, published by footwear giant Converse in July, stars 14-year-old Millie Bobby Brown, who has her ‘Chuck Taylor’-adorned foot up on the dashboard of a moving car.
Three complaints were submitted to the advertising watchdog. The filers were concerned that Brown’s “unsafe behavior” might be emulated by children or youths.
Converse defended that the clip was showcasing how a young woman was defying norms by donning ‘Chuck Taylors’ to a red carpet event. It added that the video was obviously spotlighting its sneakers, and not cars.
Further, Converse justified that while the ad featured a child, it was clearly not directed at children. Brown is featured in a number of dramas that are targeted at adults, and is thus likely to be more popular with an older audience.
The ASA agreed with Converse’s argument. “The theme of her story—challenging social norms—was something that we considered would appeal to people of all ages, and particularly to teenagers and young people,” it addressed.
“For those reasons, we considered that while the ad was not targeted at children, it was likely to resonate with teenagers as well as adults.”
While the ASA noted that it might be dangerous for passengers to rest their feet on the dashboard of a moving car, “the angle of the shot drew attention to her face and the story she was telling.” Additionally, it was clear that Brown’s foot was posited to promote Converse’s sneakers.
“The way she was sitting was not otherwise relevant to the product being advertised or the story being told, and we considered viewers were therefore likely to pay little attention to the way she was sitting,” the advertising authority concluded.
[via Gazette, video and cover image via Converse]
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