Virgin “rock star” ad banned

A Virgin Holidays poster campaign that features rock stars drinking champagne in a jacuzzi has been banned for glamorising alcohol.

The ad, part of the tour operator’s “Rockstar” campaign, showed a number of empty bottles and glasses lying around and people pouring champagne into the Jacuzzi.

One complainant objected to the way alcohol was portrayed in the ad but Virgin Holidays defended the imagery and said that the campaign focused on ridiculous desires being met.

It argued that a Jacuzzi filled with champagne was an example of “an extremely outlandish and decadent request”, exaggerated to show the level of service Virgin Holidays provided. The emphasis of the ad, created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, was on the request and not on drinking.

However, the Advertisign Standards Authority (ASA) said that rock stars “were widely accepted as glamorous and exciting figures” and that the ad depicted them in a scene that featured alcohol prominently.

The ASA noted that the imagery cleared implied that the characters had been drinking the champagne and the number of bottles in the scene and their position “indicated a casual attitude towards the handling and consumption of alcohol.” It ruled that the ad must not appear again and advised Virgin to take more care when it featured the use of alcohol in advertising.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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