Rosie Davenport
Beverage Brands has been given a full frontal rap by advertising watchdogs following complaints about a risqué ¡d for WKD, including one from rival brewer Adnams.
The advert for the pps showed a naked man with a bottle of the drink covering his crotch and the caption "Now that's WKD exposure". The ad appeared in several trade publications as part of a £2m marketing blitz.
However the Advertising Standards Authority failed to see the funny side and ruled the ad was likely to cause "serious and widespread offence".
It agreed with concerns that the advert was offensive because it "portrayed the illegal act of exposure", and asked Beverage Brands to withdraw it.
However, the watchdog dismissed Adnams' contention that the advert breached codes on advertising by linking the drink to sexual performance because Beverage Brands had deliberately chosen "a non-sexually proactive man" for the advertisement.
Beverage Brands marketing manager Karen Salters said the complainants, including Adnams, needed to "get a life". "We just wanted to get across to the trade that we are in touch with our target market," she added.
"The ad was never intended to get into the consumer domain, and it never has. It was trying to say we know the trade has a sense of humour. I've got better things to do with my time and I think the complainants need to get a life."
Adnams declined to comment on the ruling although it did admit to logging a complaint with the ASA.