TV viewers driven crazy by frog ringtone ad

ANGRY viewers have bombarded the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with hundreds of complaints about a TV campaign for Crazy Frog ringtones, which has been described by some as the most annoying ever made.

Amid growing criticism and worries that viewers were turning to the BBC to seek refuge from the saturation advertising campaign, ITV last night pledged to "review its position".

The ad is being run on ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 and around 100 satellite channels. Crazy Frog's owner, the American company Jamster, is spending 7 million on the campaign this month alone.

The ASA said it had received 400 complaints from viewers annoyed at the frequency of the 30-second advertisements, which run once or twice an hour across much of the day.

Donna Mitchell, spokesman for the ASA, said: "People seem to find it very annoying, but how often an advert is aired is not within our remit. We can only take action against the content of ads."

Such is the apparent level of viewer unhappiness that the ASA website gives visitors advice on where to complain about the Crazy Frog.

Few commercial TV viewers can escape the sight of a motorbike-riding frog during advert breaks.

The campaign is selling a 3 ringtone based on the Axel F theme tune from the film Beverly Hills Cop.

An ITV spokesman said: "The Jamster campaign has not broken any broadcasting guidelines at the moment, but we are reviewing the position."

The fast-growing UK ringtone market is worth more than 300 million a year.