Beer advert starring Armstrong and Miller is banned for ‘insulting the Poles and Irish’


A new TV ad for a beer starring comedians Armstrong and Miller has been banned for making fun of the Poles and Irish.

The sketch for Spitfire ale features the funnymen as RAF characters from their BBC show.

Armstrong asks a Polish soldier if he could work on his nan’s patio and Miller tells him it is “the Paddies what does the building isn’t it.”

The ad has been outlawed by Clearcast, the watchdog which decides which adverts can be broadcast on British TV.

But Kent-based brewers Shepherd Neame said they would still show it online later in ths year.

Jennie McShannon, chief executive of the Federation of Irish Societies, said: “It is disappointing to see once again outdated and unfunny stereotypes being used to sell products.

“In our view this ad reflects badly on consumers of Spitfire, as if they will find these ‘tongue-in-cheek’ assumptions about Irish and Polish people funny.

“Tongue-in-cheek means not to be taken seriously. Where does Spitfire draw a line?”

But Polish national Pawel Kardas, who lives in Kent, said: “I think it is all right – it is funny.

“The thing which is not right is that Polish people do not like it when we are compared to Russia. We really do not like that.”

Brewery spokesman David Netherton said: “The campaign juxtaposes old and new using modern day street language and commentary in a historical setting.

“The Armstrong and Miller RAF pilot characters are the focus of each advert and their stereotypical perceptions and street vernacular is intended to be the comical subject rather than the subject matter itself.”

Spitfire ale was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and markets itself as the bottle of Britain.


Alexander Armstrong: “Listen blud, is you like one of them geezers that’s like a Pole from Poland or Russia or something place like that?”

General Vladimir Zhigorski: “I am General Vladimir Zhigorski, Supreme Commander in Chief of free Polish forces yes.”

Alexander Armstrong: “Only my nan’s patio needs doing and I thought we could do, like, a deal for cash?”

Ben Miller: “Man, you can’t say that, that’s just wrong. That’s like stereotyping a whole people by profession[…] anyway it’s the Paddies what does the building isn’t it?”



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