The Proximus telecommunications company said on Wednesday that it would withdraw a publicity spot that has sparked controversy after it was aired on Eén, the VRT’s TV Channel 1. The spot was aired before and after “Over Water”, a documentary series on the problem of cocaine at Antwerp Port. It read: “Let’s enjoy your weekly dose of action together” after which the message’s letters disappeared as if they had been sniffed.
Proximus said it would be replaced with a more generic one, starting from the next episode of the series, on Sunday next. “It has never been our intention to trivialise the use of drugs,” the telecoms company stressed.
The spot had been slammed by associations active in the field of drug prevention. Belgium’s Jury on Ethical Practice in Advertising (JEP) said on Wednesday that it had registered six complaints about it and would be deliberating on the issue on the 8th of January.
A Proximus spokesman stressed that the decision to scrap the spot had been taken internally on Tuesday, before the JEP announcement.