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OK to depict call centre workers as chickens

Clucking 'ell

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The Call Centre Association Ltd - an industry body representing 700 organisations - has failed to get a commercial depicting call centre workers as chickens banned from UK TV screens.

The CCA - along with 80 other complainers - were upset by the ad for online insurance outfit Swiftcover.com.

The ad showed a man phoning his insurance company and asking "not to be put on hold".

It then showed a call centre staffed by chickens repeatedly clucking: "Won't keep you a moment" to callers.

Frustrated at the way he was treated by battery-style workers, the man logged on to Swiftcover.com and completed his transaction online, before asking the missus what she was doing in the kitchen.

"Just stuffing a chicken," she replied.

"That's a coincidence," he replied.

Of the 80 complaints, 51 were from viewers who worked - or had worked - in call centres. They claimed that the ads portrayed the industry - which employs more than half a million people in the UK - in a bad light and in a "a negative and insulting way".

Four of those who complained said the ad was "likely to encourage abuse or disrespect of call centre workers" while one went further saying that the comment "stuffing a chicken" was particularly likely to do this.

But the watchdog rejected the complaints ruling that the ad did not "denigrate call centres or encourage abuse of call centre workers".

The CCA - which believes that the industry already has a poor reputation among the public - is considering an appeal. ®

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