Bobby Charlton dog walking advert upsets Welsh council

He may still be England’s top goal scorer, and the nation’s favourite granddad, but Sir Bobby Charlton is in hot water with councillors near Cardigan, West Wales, for his dog walking antics.

The dog walking in question is shown in a TV advert, for Actimel, that features Sir Bobby walking his dog on football playing fields in a park, then when the ball comes near him he rifles it into the top corner, showing that despite being seventy-years-old, he’s in great shape.

This however has upset councillors from Y Ferwig, in Ceredigion. They say that the advert encourages dog walkers to walk their dogs on playing fields used by children.

The Advertising Standards Authority does not agree though, saying the advert doesn’t condone bad behaviour, so there is nothing wrong with it.

Council clerk Brian Gooch stated:

It was an observation really, we wrote to the advertising standards because there is such a problem with dog fouling on playing fields.

We did not want the advert banned, but the first few minutes could be cut off so that the dog is not shown at all.

We wanted to attract attention to the problem.

There are only two dog wardens in the whole of Ceredigion and they put up ‘no dogs’ signs, but people don’t take any notice.

If someone spots a dog foul the owner will quickly get a bag out of their pocket, but if there is no-one around they will ignore it.

A spokesman for Actimel, Trevor Datson, is in support of the Welsh councillors who want to raise awareness of dogs fouling playing fields used by children. He stated:

Danone fully supports the Welsh residents in their endeavours to clean-up the habit of dog fouling in their parks and playing fields.

Our advertisement for Actimel shows children enjoying a healthy outdoor pursuit, as well as Sir Bobby Charlton’s continued fitness, and in no way condones irresponsible dog ownership.

The final decision on whether to proceed with getting the advert banned however lay with the Advertising Standards Authority, but they don’t have a problem with the advert.

A spokeswoman stated:

The Advertising Standards Authority is not investigating the recent ad for Actimel as, after careful consideration, we do not believe that the ad risks encouraging or condoning the practice of walking dogs on playing fields.

The dog is incidental to the theme of this ad and is not shown encroaching upon the pitch where the children are playing football.

It seems Sir Bobby is fine to continue walking his dog on the children’s playing fields, so long as he cleans up the mess afterwards!