Ready-to-drink alcohol brand WKD has approached creative shops about a one-off project and is understood to be close to appointing an agency.
The Beverage Brands-owned range has shortlisted four agencies, thought to include creative and promotional incumbent Big Communications, Golley Slater and Nitro. Big insists its advertising business is not up for review and that it is working on new campaigns.
The move follows the Advertising Standards Authority’s strict interpretation of proposed Ofcom broadcast advertising rules, issued earlier this year (MW March 17), which put paid to the way the brand has marketed itself. The ASA Broadcast Committee for Advertising Practice’s guidance prohibits the portrayal of alcohol as the successful ingredient in a “social occasion”.
Since its launch in 1996, the alcopop has courted controversy with its advertising. Complaints have been upheld in the past for featuring “juvenile behaviour”.
Last year, the ASA upheld complaints against a WKD poster campaign that implied the drink could enhance sexual capabilities, while a 2002 TV ad was banned by the Independent Television Commission, the previous watchdog, following complaints that it encouraged homophobic bullying.