Young’s Bitter falls foul of new alcohol ad guidelines

Young’s Bitter has become the first alcohol brand to have its advertising banned under new Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) guidelines about linking alcohol to social success and seduction. The rules were introduced on October 1 last year.

The posters, created by agency BANC Communications, now part of The Farm, show a man with a ram’s head as the centre of attention in different social situations. The campaign uses the strapline: “This is a ram’s world”.

In the first poster, the ram is dressed in a white suit by a swimming pool surrounded by bikini-clad women. In a second execution, he is seen in a gentlemen’s club apparently regaling a group of men with an anecdote.

The ASA ruled that the ads associated Young’s Bitter with social and sexual success, although they did not find that the ram’s head device implied enhanced attractiveness to women.

The ASA has also banned a controversial ad for bookmaker Paddy Power featuring a pastiche of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

The ad, which had already caused an outcry in Ireland (MW October 13, 2005), features Jesus and his disciples gambling at a table with the strapline: “There’s a place for fun and games”.

The ASA ruled that depicting the last supper “as a casino” could cause offence and ruled that the ad, created by Cawley Nea TBWA, should not be shown again.

It has also banned a television ad starring rugby international Austen Healy promoting Advanced Hair Studio’s anti-baldness laser treatment. The agency found that the ads, created by Ocean Marketing, made misleading claims about the laser therapy and ruled that the celebrity testimonials were unacceptable.


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