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Bungee Whiz


Claim:   Video clip shows a hapless bungee jumper get his head bitten off by a crocodile.

FALSE

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2005]

I received this video clip on 10/24/2005, from a friend. There is no mention of time/place/or circumstances regarding this video. I hope you can determine if it is real or fake. From the accent on the video, it has to be Australia. However, the "Croc" seems all too coincidental!

 

Origins:   The above-linked video clip purportedly shows, to the accompaniment of an Australian-accented announcer, a bungee jump over a river by a personage named
"Big Doug" that ends in tragedy when Big Doug's head is bitten off by a crocodile who emerges from the depths with jaws open wide just as Doug hits the water headfirst.

One tell-tale clue to this video clip's authenticity is the fact the audio cuts out halfway through. The reason for this editing is that a voice-over at the conclusion of the original, unedited clip reveals it to be a television commercial for Foster's Beer: "New Foster's hit tap. Don't lose your head."

This 2003 Foster's commercial, promoting "a new pouring system intended to give drinkers a consistent head on their pint," when it first aired drew complaints from hundreds of viewers who were disturbed by the seeming authenticity of the home video-style ad. As the UK newspaper The Mirror reported at the time:

Aussie beer giant Fosters has upset viewers with their latest TV ad showing a crocodile biting the head off a bungee jumper.

Family groups are in uproar over the 30 second clip — shot in the form of a home movie — which shows a man leap off a crane into a river. As he skims the top of the water, a croc lunges at him.

The hand-held camera then pans in for a close up, showing the victim's headless corpse dangling lifelessly on the bungee rope. Laughing, the cameraman jokes "Crikey! that's got to hurt" before the ad finishes with the slogan "Don't lose your head".

The Independent Television Commission has had 87 complaints since it was first aired on July 14.

Fosters said the ad was designed to promote a new system which gives drinkers a constant head on their pint. A spokesman said: "Our aim is to use Foster's 'No worries' Aussie-style humour."
 

Last updated:   17 September 2014

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Sources:

    Chaytor, Rod.   "Fury Over Croc Bite Beer Ads."
    The Mirror.   28 July 2003.