Shark fan complains to Advertising Standards Authority over 'stereotyping'

Sharks have feelings too, if a recent complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority is to be believed.

The TV ad for the Hercules Hose claims it's so strong, not even the bite of a "maneater" shark can damage it.

The Hercules Hose is made of metal, and the advert shows how it can survive being subjected to fire, razor wire and even a lawnmower.

"We even took it swimming with sharks," the voiceover states. "Tied bait on the hose and it got a strike from a 400-pound maneater, and it didn't damage the hose! It cleaned off the boat with ease."

Complainant G Page said the advertiser wasn't being fair to sharks.

"This just continues the stereotype that all large sharks are 'maneaters'.

"I have no problem that it can withstand the bite of a shark, but would prefer it did not include a shark."

The advertiser acknowledged the complainant was "offended", but argued "the shark pictured was very large" and many people would agree it could eat a man.

The shark couldn't bite through the Hercules hose, but does that make it a maneater?
The shark couldn't bite through the Hercules hose, but does that make it a maneater? Photo credit: Hercules Hose/YouTube

The ASA threw out the complaint, saying there was no grounds to proceed.

"While the chair acknowledged the offence the advertisement caused the complainant relating to the reputation of sharks, she said the reference did not reach the threshold to breach the Advertising Codes of Practice."

Ironically, great white sharks' bite isn't that strong, considering its size. Pound-for-pound, research suggests they're weaker than crocodiles and hyenas, with most of the damage coming from their razor-sharp teeth.

Which apparently still aren't enough to cut through the Hercules Hose, though they would easily make a meal out of a man.


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