A commercial for Wrigley’s chewing gum that features a dog crawling out of a man’s mouth has become the most complained-about advert of all time in the UK.
A record 570 viewers had contacted TV watchdog the Independent Television Commission by this afternoon and calls are continuing to flood in.
The previous record was held by the Levi’s dead hamster ad which prompted 544 complaints in 1998.
The commercial for Wrigley’s X-cite is intended as a humorous way of illustrating how the gum can get rid of “dog breath”.
It features a man who wakes up on a sofa after a rough night out. He retches and a paw comes out of his mouth, followed by a scruffy grey dog.
The ITC said the avalanche of complaints had come from parents whose children were terrified by the ad, and from adults who said it had made them feel sick.
It has only been on our screens for a few days but has attracted the highest number of complaints since the ITC’s records began 13 years ago.
An ITC spokeswoman said: “We have been flooded with complaints and the total is rising all the time.
“Parents have been complaining that their children are scared by it, and some of the adults have said they were actually sick themselves after watching it.”
The Levi’s ad featured a dead hamster called Kevin being poked by a pencil after dying of boredom in his cage when his wheel broke.
The outcry was so great that Kevin’s owner was forced to make a public statement assuring distressed viewers that the animal was alive and well.