Meadow Fresh ad banned from TV for showing girl riding bike on footpath for 3m
A milk ad that shows a young girl biking on the footpath for three metres has been banned from television for “condoning an illegal practice”.
The ad, for Meadow Fresh Calci Original milk, showed a girl going to the dairy to buy a bottle of milk, then briefly riding her bike on the footpath.
“[Riding] a bicycle on a footpath … is against the law and dangerous as cars backing out can hit bikers, who are faster and less likely to hear the car,” the complainant said.
“My concern is that this will confuse not only children, but parents, who will assume that it is OK to let their children break traffic rules and ride on footpaths, when it is not.”
The authority’s complaints board ruled there were no grounds to proceed, saying the ad did not show or condone a disregard for safety.
“Rather, it reflects the reality that some parents encourage their children to ride their bikes on the footpath, believing it to be safer.”
The fact the law is under review is also relevant, the board said.
However, the complainant appealed that ruling in a lengthy email, citing a number of overseas studies which showed riding a bike on a footpath is more dangerous than riding on the road.
“That the law might possibly change does not help and makes no sense – is it OK now to smoke marijuana?” the complainant wrote, referring to the recent cannabis referendum.
“The answer is no, so would an advertisement showing a person returning home after a walk to the dairy to buy chocolate and then smoking marijuana be acceptable?”
The complaints board agreed that “despite current practices and proposed changes”, riding a bike on the footpath is currently prohibited.
It has “no choice but to uphold the complaint”, it said, and ruled the ad was not socially responsible and therefore in breach of the Advertising Standards Code.
It must not be used again, the authority said.
Goodman Fielder, which owns Meadow Fresh, said it stood by its decision to show the girl riding safely on the footpath.
The ad aired for the last time on November 7, and there are no further plans to use it, the company said.