An advert from life insurance firm DeadHappy has been banned for trivialising suicide.
The paid-for Facebook post showed a man leaning his head against the wall alongside the strapline “life insurance to die for”.
A viewer complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) saying that it alluded to depression and suicide. The ASA agreed and ordered the firm to stop using the ad, BBC News reports.
DeadHappy, which is based at East Midlands Airport, defended the advert saying it formed part of a larger campaign focusing on the bizarre and the absurd. It said the image showed a man banging his head in frustration at the difficulty in obtaining life insurance.
However, the ASA concluded the image, strapline and the firm’s laughing skull Facebook profile image “taken together trivialised the issue of suicide”.
DeadHappy co-founder Phil Zeidler said: “We are trying hard to get people thinking about and planning for their death, and having protection in place for the people they love most. This ruling could easily shut those conversations down.”
Chris O’Sullivan, from the Mental Health Foundation, said the choice of visual image was “unfortunate at best”.
“The business concerned has chosen to use deliberately provocative language and imagery in its marketing, fitting with the need to disrupt the market – but this is a step too far,” he added.