Offensive UK Television Commercials and Their US Counterparts

Earlier this week, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority released the most controversial advertisements of 2009. Coming in at number one was The Christian Party’s retaliation bus ad, which read: “There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.” The message was a response to the British Humanist Association’s, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” ad, which was ranked number six on the list according to how many people called in to complain.

In the spirit of cross-cultural exploration, we thought we’d compare the UK’s most risky television commercials of this past year with some of America’s most controversial. We hope this exercise can teach us something about our neighbors overseas, and possibly ourselves. Are our commercials more disturbing? Less? Click after the jump and decide for yourself. Judge harshly.

1. Most Disturbing

UK: In this commercial, after swallowing some medicine, a man pulls a dead rat out of his mouth. He then proceeds to dry heave into the kitchen sink. That seems like an appropriate response.

US: Everything looks happy and delightful at first, but then this poor woman realizes that not all anthropomorphic bubbles have pure and wholesome intentions.