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The consumer advertising Grinch strikes again

Just when you thought it was safe to look at billboard advertising, a recent supposedly Christmas-themed one was pulled for inspiring the ire of parents and potentially ruining Christmas by claiming Santa isn't real...
There's no doubt consumers have all the power these days. The recent Cell C advertising furore, where an irate consumer took matters into his own hands to spread what he felt was the true Cell C slogan based on his experience with the brand went viral.

And consumers have the power to veto advertising they don't agree with. One such ad is the 'Santa isn't real' billboard, recently erected by Comedy Central. The basic advertising premise that Mr Claus doesn't exist, but not to worry as Comedy Central is there to cheer you up went down like a lead balloon.

Parents complained, calling it "a stupid board put up by stupid people," Citizen reports.

Well, the 'stupid people' responsible listened and took down the billboard, also going so far as to issue an apology on their site.

Head of Comedy Central Africa Evert van der Veer soothed vexed parents by stating they'd just spoken to Santa and he had confirmed he's alive and well. Comedy Central also promised to put up a less offensive Christmassy ad soon.

Goes to show that tongue-in-cheek advertising just doesn't cut it these days. Consumers are smart, opinionated and angry. Be prepared, advertisers!

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.
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