Voice of the Customer

An advert showing a woman who has been hit in the face with food has been pulled over fears it could spark copycat behaviour. In a series of Tweets, Dairylea said it “Dareyleas you” to “splat one in a friend’s face”. One showed a girl aiming what appears to be a cream pie.

Parents of children with dairy allergies said it was “dangerous”, “disgraceful” and “insensitive”. Mondelez, which owns the brand, said it did not intend to cause offence.

Rina Cheema, whose 13-year-old son Karanbir died after cheese was thrown at him at school in London in June 2017, said the images encouraged bullying.

She said: “Because it is done with children I don’t think it should be done. Children don’t understand allergies because it is not taught.”

Karen Massey, who lives in Southend, Essex, was one of dozens of people who contacted the firm after it promoted the advert on Twitter last week.

Her 11-year-old daughter Rosa, who has been severely allergic to dairy products since birth, is starting secondary school this week.

“Anxiety levels are high anyway without having to worry about cake being thrown in her face as part of a ‘harmless’ dare,” she said.

She was one of several parents who said it could kill their children if dairy was thrown at them. One said she could not even kiss her son due to fear of anaphylaxis, because his allergy is so severe.

Mondelez said the advert was part of a wider campaign. It confirmed on Tuesday it has been removed and will no longer be shown.

A Tango campaign that showed a man being slapped round the face was banned in 1992 after children were said to have suffered perforated eardrums as a result of a copycat craze.