The Drum writes:
Peter Davis, executive creative director of [Powownow agency] gyro Manchester, commented: “Our new campaign for Powwownow has been made to court with controversy, so we’re pleased to see it’s already doing just that. If our character is already causing widespread offence then many people won’t like some of the things we have planned for him - this is only the beginning! We all have preconceptions about free services – ‘if it’s free, it must be bad!’ To confront this idea, we’ve created an obnoxious fictional businessman that spends money lavishly and dislikes anything that’s free – especially Powwownow. Our "more sense than money" campaign drives the idea that actually, you don’t have to pay a premium to get a great quality service.”In Plain English: the guy in the ads is supposed to be an asshole and the copy is supposed to piss you off.
So, whoever got enraged enough to risk arrest and fine by stating the obvious on this ad actually did the advertiser a tremendous favour. I wouldn't be surprised if future campaigns of this kind actually hire people to deface the ads. (Maybe that's what's happening with the Mad Men meme - you never know.)
Being an ironic asshole in your advertising, by the way, has a history of backfiring. Remember the Groupon dogpile during last year's Super Bowl? People are just not that clever.