Every few months, along comes an advertisement that causes offence. The last one I remember was the particularly horrendous Hyundai ad back in April, and now it's the turn of Marmite.
The ad mimics an animal rescue team who recovers forgotten Marmite jars from the back of peoples' cupboards, before carrying them out in tiny cages and into a van.
Most companies that have adverts with controversial content must, without a doubt, have intended to have a reaction. And a reaction is what the Marmite ad has achieved - there have been hundreds of complaints since it aired on Monday night, and it has been accused of trivialising the work of animal rescue charities and child protection agencies. A spokeswoman for Marmite responded to complains, saying:
"We believe we have created an unmistakably Marmite ad - people will either love it or hate it and they certainly won't forget it."
That's convenient, isn't it?
Whenever an advert like this is broadcast, the question always arises as to whether we need to lighten up, or are justified in taking offence. Personally, I found the advert funny. But I also felt guilty for laughing because I knew some viewers will have experienced the very type of situation that Marmite mocks.
They say all good publicity is good publicity. It's just a shame that the advert did nothing but highlight the fact that no-one bloody uses the stuff.