42 Below vodka launches ‘anti-Brit’ viral campaign

New Zealand vodka brand 42 Below is courting controversy with its latest viral advertising campaign, which pokes less-than-gentle fun at the British and British culture. It features a Monty Python-style montage of famous British activities and faces.

The voiceover for the video includes comments about Britain “inventing cricket for the Aussies, rugby for the Kiwis, football for the Brazilians and Robbie Williams for the gays.” Other targets include Prince Charles and his infamous “Tampax” intercepted phone call with Camilla, Prince Philip and his propensity for racist remarks and the security services and their vulnerability to Russian infiltration.

All creative for 42 Below is by company founder Geoff Ross, a former director of Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand.

A previous 42 Below viral for the US market, targeting gay consumers, triggered threats of a boycott. The latest execution will almost certainly trigger UK tabloid outrage and consumer complaints, but it will also again highlight the fact that viral advertising is almost completely unregulated.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s remit only covers virals if they have been actively sent out by the brand owner or its agents.

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