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Levi’s 501® jean ad banned in New Zealand

Levi’s 501® jean ad banned in New Zealand

It would appear that being ‘Born Again’ in the name of Levi’s 501® jean has caused a stir within a local religious community.

The NZ Advertising Standards Board have banned the Levi’s 501® jean television commercial which was broadcast earlier this year. The board received complaints from a religious sector of the community saying that born again was a religious phrase. The commercial, made in Australia by Levi's® ANZ Advertising Agency, Brandhouse Arnold Worldwide, depicted a young woman rising out of the water in her new recut 501® jeans. The original ad was titled Born Again and screened in New Zealand in May 2003. The aim of the commercial was to introduce a whole new generation of jeans wearers to the iconic 501® jean and enlisted the talents of AFI winning director Andrew Dominik, who wrote and directed the film “Chopper”.

Following the initial complaint, Levi’s revised the ad to include new footage and deleted the tag line “Born Again”. The new version was presented to the Television Commercial Approval Board (TCAB). However despite these edits and the fact that the Australian Advertising Standards Board did not uphold complaints about the ad in Australia, the TCAB supported the ruling to uphold the complaints in NZ.

The ad doesn’t appear to have upset too many people though as sales of the re-cut original continue to increase ahead of expectations.

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