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.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here