Tweets last Christmas from Poundland/Dealz

This afternoon.

Via The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI)

Complaint: A series of posts on Dealz Ireland’s Facebook page, promoting the “Elf Behaving Badly” Christmas campaign featured the following imagery:

a) The first image featured the toy elf holding a tea bag between its legs over the face of a female doll lying on the ground.

b) The second image featured the toy elf holding a spherical shaped object and a Darth Vader toy holding a lightsabre.

The complainant said he considered the imagery used to be sexualising childrens’ toys which he found degrading in content.


“The advertisers said they considered their customers in Ireland liked to laugh and that is why they prided themselves on bringing creativity to their low cost advertising campaigns.

…The advertising was based on double entendres which they considered would go over the heads of those who did not understand them and make those that do [understand them] laugh out loud…

…They said that their campaign was always intended for adult consumption, the nature of a double entendre being that it would not be understood by children. In relation to the campaign sexualising a children’s toy, they strongly challenged this as “Elf Behaving Badly” was, they said, not marketed as such…”


The Committee noted that the toy depicted in the advertising was similar to the “Elf on the Shelf”, a children’s toy based on a book of the same name. The Committee considered the two posts complained of. They considered that both posts, one featuring the Elf holding a teabag over another doll’s face and the other the Elf holding an object resembling an adult toy were obvious references to sexual acts.

Whilst noting the advertisers’ comments that the platforms involved required users to be aged 13 and over, the Committee did not consider that to sexualise children’s toys was compliant with Section 3.3 of the Code and they upheld the complaint.”

Action Required: “The advertising should not run in the same format again.”

So there.

Elf On The Shelf (ASAI)

Thanks Jack Jones

10 thoughts on “Elf Crisis

    1. Starina

      what I thought, too. rawr.

      In all fairness, little kids wouldn’t know that it’s sexual. The slightly larger kids have probably made similar jokes.

  1. john f

    In fairness it was a funny advertising campaign. Paddy power gets people talking about their brand with similar over the top PR stunts.
    Shame on the killjoys that reported them to the ASAI, some people just have no sense of humour.

  2. AssPants

    People just love to be offended….maybe we should start including within the school curriculum how to change station/challenge when offended, and how to block a contact on your mobile phone….

    Might find that ASAI will no longer be needed and then we can all decide what we would like to listen/watch/read or message.

    Some day soon we will be allowed to think for our very own self.

    1. Rob_G

      I’m not especially wont to get offended, but I don’t think that ads that use a beloved children’s character pantomining a sexual act are appropriate for ads that kids might see.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Have to agree. I’m all for pushing the boundaries but Poundland are clearly dirty b*stards. No design agency would come with that filth, surely?

Comments are closed.