Bad eggs...

Hancock's ads banned

Tony Hancock’s ‘go to work on an egg’ adverts have fallen foul of TV watchdogs – because they don’t promote a balanced diet.

The egg industry wanted to re-run the 1957 ads to mark the 50th anniversary of their lion mark.

But, the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, which has to approve all television adverts, blocked them because eating an egg for breakfast every day is not a “varied diet”.

Author Fay Weldon, who helped write the adverts, said: ‘I think the ruling is absurd. We seem to have been tainted by all the health and safety laws. If they are going to ban egg adverts then I think they should ban all car adverts because cars really are dangerous.’

The BACC ruled: ‘This concept of eating eggs every day for breakfast unfortunately goes against what is now the generally accepted advice of eating a varied diet. We therefore could not approve the ads for broadcast.’

The Egg Information Service offered to add a line saying that eggs should be eaten as part of a varied diet – but the watchdogs said this would contradict the overall message of the advert.

BACC spokesman Kristoffer Hammer said Hancock was shown eating two boiled eggs, without any accompanying tomatoes or beans to balance them out.

‘We deeply regret that we can not rerun old classic adverts, but life moves on,’ he said. ‘The advertising codes are now stricter. We’re not saying eggs are bad for you, but we are saying two eggs a day is not a balanced diet.’

Weldon said that Hancock was never comfortable making the adverts.

‘He hated doing them, he felt it was a great comedown,’ she said. ‘He didn't want to do them and did them as a kind of mockery.

‘I sat in the studio listening to him moaning and complaining, so we just wrote what he wanted. One of them said “I hate doing this advertisement” - we just thought the truth might work best.’

Here are the offending adverts:

Published: 20 Jun 2007

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