It’s an age old question. How soon is too soon to poke fun at a disaster? As history would inform, the answer is usually never. There are just too many emotions tied up in certain unfortunate events to make light of them. Even an event that happened 101 years ago is seemingly off limits.
When Red Bull made light of the Titanic sinking by suggesting the Titanic would not have sunk had it been carrying Red Bull, viewers were outraged and lodged complaints with the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.
The animated ad, which began running in Germany earlier this year and then more recently in the UK, features a captain telling a dock worker to stop loading Red Bull and, instead, load champagne. After the dock worker tells the Captain, “Red Bull gives you wings,” the captain laughs and replies, “Wings? Why on earth would you need wings on a ship?” The crate then lowers revealing the ship to be the Titanic.
The ASA has received 50 complaints but the organization has not yet made a decision as to whether or not to ban the ad.