Britvic Soft Drinks has been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making references to anal sex in poster ads for its Red Devil drink.
The ASA has banned the campaign, which uses a picture of two crumpled Red Devil cans next to the text: “He was going so fast he went for the wrong entrance.” The ads use the strapline “Beware his influence”.
The ASA ruled that the ad is not suitable for poster use because it refers to anal sex. Another execution uses the same image with the headline: “Once he’d found the right zone, she was raring to go.” According to the ASA, this poster is offensive and unsuitable for poster sites.
This is not the first time Red Devil has fallen foul of the advertising authorities. In 2000, a television ad featuring footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones topped the complaint charts. Almost 400 people protested to the Independent Television Commission about the campaign, which showed the footballer tricking a robin into flying against a glass window. The ad carried the tagline: “Red Devil: You can always repent.”
Jones, currently the face of Bacardi, is likely to be dropped from the brand’s ads after he was convicted of a drunken air-rage assault last week. A spokeswoman for Bacardi says Jones’s contract with the company is up for renewal next year. Bacardi has decided not to use any of the three ads featuring Jones over the Christmas period.