'Buddha' Baby Gets Nappies in a Twist

Cape Town, South Africa - A nappy advert featuring a baby sitting in the lotus position does not belittle Hinduism and Buddhism, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.

A woman, identified only as S Singh, lodged a complaint with the ASA last month claiming that the television ad, featuring a baby wearing a Huggies disposable nappy, offended her.

The ad has the baby sitting in a position resembling traditional images of Buddha, while a voice-over states: "Position 15 - the Buddha."

The baby then looks at his nappy and appears to reflect on how comfortable it is.

In her complaint Singh said the advert "belittles and stereotypes the religious beliefs and historical reference of the Hindu or Buddhist practices and beliefs".

But the ASA found that the ad "lightheartedly uses the positions that babies sit in to illustrate the benefits of the product".

"The baby is not mocked for sitting in that position and nothing in the commercial can reasonably be understood as ridiculing Buddhism or the Hindu practice of yoga."

Joanne Siney-Gould, marketing director of Huggies manufacturer Kimberly-Clark, welcomed the ASA's decision.

"The advertisement is part of a wider campaign that depicts all other positions that babies get into."

The advert had been very successful and Singh's had been the only complaint, she said.

"It's an international campaign and has been flighted in South Africa since November last year.

"We always abide by the rules of the ASA and would never flight distasteful advertisements."

Advertising company Ogilvy, which was involved in the advert's production, said it was "tasteful and observant and does not draw any damaging parallels or imply any criticism of the Buddhist faith".