Newcastle Brown Ale’s ‘Brown humour’ ads await ASA ruling

Newcastle Brown Ale’s “Brown humour” press and poster campaign has triggered a flurry of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on the grounds of indecency and inappropriateness.

The TBWA/London- created campaign, which uses the tagline “Brown humour. Not to everyone’s taste”, broke last month. The ASA has yet to adjudicate on the ads that use slogans such as “You can’t flog a dead horse. Unless you sell it for glue.” The ASA has received more than 30 complaints about the ad.

v An investigation into complaints against Andrex Moistened toilet wipes has found in Kimberly-Clark’s favour. The ASA has rejected claims the ads were demeaning to men and women, and offensive. Three press ads showed a close-up of a man or woman with the slogan “Could you be cleaner?” written on their underwear.

Andrex has argued it had not meant to offend or titillate, and had created executions that featured men and women so as not to be sexist. It wanted to use images relevant to a product designed “to remove detritus left behind” after wiping with dry toilet paper. The slogan was deliberately posed as a question and not intended to imply poor personal hygiene.

The ASA believed the ads depicted a “sensitive product in a non-gratuitous way” and concluded they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or to demean either sex.