The ad was part of Cadbury’s “fourth” campaign, which is based around Moro, which Cadbury calls “New Zealand’s fourth favourite [chocolate] bar”. A little into the ad, the voiceover says: “In the Melbourne Cup, Wonderfoot came fourth. He won’t race again, he has better things to do.” As the voiceover plays, viewers saw the horse mating with a mare. The horse section represented eight out of the ad’s sixty seconds, and the visual was only three seconds long.
T Prins and others complained about this. T Prins said it “was offensive to watch an advert in which 2 horses were fornicating. I am the parent of an 8 year old and a 2 year old and work hard at preserving their innocence. Is this type of advertising appropriate????”
The Commercial Approvals Bureau, which had approved the ad and rated it PGR (which can be broadcast only after 7pm), was asked to comment on the ad. They said:
When we approved this commercial we expected that some people would find this scene offensive but, on balance, decided that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The humour is admittedly rather juvenile and of dubious taste but the footage is not gratuitous and does not depict anything that is not seen daily on farms up and down the country. To take offense seems rather prudish and curiously anthropomorphic (it is not technically possible for animals to "fornicate").
The Authority did not uphold the complaint (their decision, 09/150, is available on the Authority's website). The horses weren’t available for comment.