Despite Consumer Testing, Thomson Fairy-tale Ad Receives Complaints

Thomson's have come under fire over their New Year campaign which features an advert storyline about "Simon the Ogre".

The ad depicts how a Thomson holiday restores "Simon the Ogre" (an oversized man with a facial disfigurement and horns) to his rightful self. Eighty consumers have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the spot is offensive to people with facial and physical disfigurements and that it trivialises those living with a disability.

Thus far, the ad watchdog has not yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation, although it is currently assessing the complaints. Other public feedback however insists that the advert is light-hearted and based on typical fairy-tales, thus it is baffling that a small number of people see it as referring to the disabled.

A spokeswoman for Thomson commented: "We were sorry to hear that there were complaints to the ASA regarding our new "Simon the Ogre" advert. We'd like to re-assure customers that the aim of our advert was to bring to life the potential power of a holiday, and to portray a light-hearted view on a metaphor that might ring true for certain families - the idea of being busy with work and the stresses of life, and it then melting away once on holiday.

She added: "We tested this advert with more than 28,000 customers and received an overwhelmingly positive response. There was never any intention to cause offence or disappointment."

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