Photobox ad showing boy sitting on dog cleared after complaints

Still from advert showing boy riding dog through sprinklersImage copyright

Adverts for the photo printing site Photobox have been cleared by a watchdog after it received 212 complaints.

Viewers had expressed concern that the three ads, featuring scenes of a family barbeque with parents photographing a boy sitting on a Great Dane, could be harmful to the pet and the child.

One complaint came from the RSPCA.

Photobox said the boy and dog were filmed separately and “at no point did the boy actually sit on the dog”.

It added that a qualified vet had been present during filming, and provided a certificate to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as proof.

‘Unlikely’ risk

The ASA said: “We acknowledged the vet’s certificate provided by Photobox and (ad clearance agency) Clearcast, and were content that the two dogs used for the ad were not harmed during production.”

The certificate stated that the dogs, Kalifa and Mufasa, “were never placed under any risk or suffered any damage during the shooting”.

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The ASA added that the advert would not be shown during children’s programming, making it “unlikely” that children would emulate the pose and harm themselves or their pets.

The footage was accompanied by a voice-over, which said: “This pleasant get together shall soon be shattered for a photo storm bruise. Mum, Dad, weird cousin Brian, hold aloft your camera phones for you are about to capture gold.”

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