Watchdogs have fired another warning shot at drinks ads that overstep the mark.
The Advertising Standards Authority this week issued the latest reprimand to the industry by condemning poster ads from Beverage Brands and Anheuser-Busch for content that was sexual and irresponsible.
Both censures come at a time when broadcast advertising is already under rigorous scrutiny by Ofcom (The Grocer, September 18, pp 5 and 37).
The ASA upheld complaints against an ad for Beverage Brands’ WKD (pictured) which showed a smiling car park attendant standing in front of an exit barrier which appeared to extend from his groin.
It said the ad could be interpreted as sexual innuendo and therefore breached its code
by linking sex with alcohol. The ASA also branded an ad for A-B’s Michelob Ultra, which featured two joggers next to a picture of the low-carb beer and the headline ‘Lose the carbs. Not the taste’, as irresponsible.
It said the image of the joggers, combined with claims about reduced carb and calorie content, irresponsibly implied the beer could be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain fitness.
The authority dismissed complaints that a second WKD ad - showing a man wearing a bra - was offensive, encouraged yobbish behaviour and implied enhanced sexual success.
Sean McAllister