Gross X.Cite spots pulled by Wrigley

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[London] Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. last week voluntarily withdrew its latest TV commercial for X.Cite chewing gum after hundreds of U.K. viewers complained to the Independent Television Commission. In the stomach-turning spot by Omnicom Group's Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London, a scruffy-looking dog crawls out of the mouth of a hungover man. The dog barks until the man sticks a piece of X.Cite into his smelly mouth. The spot ends with the caption, "Avoid Dog Breath."At last count, the ITC had logged 688 irate calls about "Avoid Dog Breath," an all-time high.

The previous record holder was a 1988 commercial for Levi Strauss & Co.'s Levi jeans starring a dead hamster.

A spokeswoman for the Independent Television Commission said the ITC had initially asked Wrigley to run the ad only after 9 p.m. because parents were calling in to say that their children were becoming afraid of the family dog. However, some adult viewers said that the ad had made them physically ill, she said.

Wrigley apologized to viewers in a statement. The company said "Our intention was, and remains, to communicate the benefits of the X.Cite brand in an impactful and engaging manner." AdAge.com QwikFIND aao51o

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