Disastrous consequences for the drinks trade could be in store if a clampdown on advertising continues to escalate, according to a leading industry expert.
Pete Brown, a drinks consultant who previously worked on ads for Stella Artois, said more suppliers should speak out about their concerns over the strict new Advertising Standards Authority code, which come into effect this year.
“It’s a sensitive issue because many feel that if they protest they will be attacked for not promoting responsible drinking,” he said.
Brown’s comments come as the latest poster adverts for Halewood International’s Lambrini brand came under fire
by advertising watchdogs for suggesting that the drink may bring sexual success.
The poster advert featured three women using a long hook
to ensnare a slim, young man, using the strapline: ‘Lambrini girls just wanna have fun.’
The Committee of Advertising Practice, which enforces the code, expressed its concerns about the attractiveness of the man because of rulings which dictate links must not be made between alcohol and sexual activity. “We would advise that the man in the picture should be unattractive - overweight, middle-aged, balding, etc,” it said.
Halwood has changed its poster to feature a man that fits the ‘ugly’ criteria. Lambrini chairman John Halewood said: “The agency makes some very understandable rulings but we’re not sure they’re qualified to decide for the nation who’s sexy and who’s not.”
Brown noted that unbiased research shows that the more alcohol is demonised, the more dysfunctional people’s attitudes will become towards it.
Sonya Hook