IPC’s Later ads court drugs uproar

Magazine publisher IPC is courting controversy with new print and poster ads for its grown-up lads’ title, Later, which launches at the end of the month.

The ads, through Fallon McElligot, will break next week and feature two designs which play on drug terminology.

One includes the headline “Get some coke for Jamie’s party” with two tick box alternatives of “one gram” or “two litres”. The second ad uses the headline “Grass” with the tick box alternatives of “mow it” or “smoke it”.

If the poster campaign breaks the Committee of Advertising Practice codes, IPC will have to submit subsequent advertising for time-consuming pre-vetting.

A spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority says: “The advertiser needs to be very aware that if the ASA upholds complaints, this pre-vetting is likely to apply to IPC titles across the board. No ad should condone illegal behaviour.”

Advertisers such as Sony PlayStation and Elida Fabergé have had similar complaints upheld about poster campaigns using drug-related words or images.

Hannah Cinamon, drugs campaign manager for the Health Education Authority, which recently won the Advertising Effectiveness Award for its anti-drugs campaign, says: “This type of advertising only serves to glamorise drug taking. We would ask the publishers to think carefully about embarking on a campaign of this nature.”

But Later’s publisher Robert Tame dismisses suggestions that the ads are glamorising drugs: “We are not glorifying drugs. The ads are aimed at people who make choices and how they determine those choices.”

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