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UK Authorities Axe Another Good Ad

Yesterday we reported on UK advertising authority Clearcast’s decision to pull an excellent SodaStream spot for “denigrating” major soda brands whose products don’t even appear in the ad. Today brings another story of a regulatory group killing a clever campaign, and we have to ask: have British people always been such irrational buzzkills?

Here’s the ad for travel metasearch engine Kayak:

The Advertising Standards Authority received more than 400 complaints about this video and decided to kill the obviously satirical spot “because it was too upsetting to individuals who have undergone brain surgery, and their families.”

OK, full disclosure: Your editor is one of those people who’ve undergone major brain surgery–and he does not find anything about this ad to be particularly offensive. It’s not like Kayak’s creative agency made a mockery of an entire culture or anything like that.

What gives? At what point do advertising and PR pros have to be intentionally boring in order to avoid ruffling a few feathers? Do our industries really have a creativity problem?

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