’Irresponsible’ Superdry ad banned for showing free runner on high beam

An "irresponsible" ad for clothing brand Superdry has been banned for featuring a free runner walking across a high steel support beam at night.

The Facebook post in October included a short video of the free runner Nightscape, also known as Harry Gallagher, walking along the exposed beam above a cityscape, with text reading: "This is the jacket that gives you a different view."

A viewer complained the ad was socially irresponsible and encouraged an unsafe practice.

Supergroup Internet, trading as Superdry, said Gallagher was a 20-year-old professional parkour or free running athlete with a social media following, and his age and the brand’s solely adult clothing lines meant the ad would not appeal to children.

It believed there was nothing in the ad which actively encouraged viewers to undertake copycat behaviour.

A screengrab taken from the Superdry advert. Photo: Advertising Standards Authority/PA

Upholding the complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ad showed a particularly extreme example of free running but did not highlight it as an activity which should only be undertaken by skilled and trained athletes.

The ASA said: "While we acknowledged that the ad did not actively state that consumers should undertake the activity, the implication of the text in particular was that it was a fun and daring thing to do.

"While we acknowledged the lack of ease of access to such a location meant it would not be an easy activity to emulate, we considered it was likely to appeal to some young adults as an act of dexterity and daring.

"For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was harmful and irresponsible."

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: "We told Superdry to ensure their advertising did not condone or encourage an unsafe practice."

KEYWORDS: Superdry


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