Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

ASA Tells Advertiser Commercial Goes Too Far

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint concerning a movie ad for First Drinks Brands' Disaronno. "The commercial showed an attractive young woman ordering a "Disaronno on the rocks" from a barman; as she drank the drink a voiceover stated "Disaronno's warm and sensual taste makes you wish it would never end". The woman then put her empty glass on the bar; as the barman went to take the glass away the woman placed her hand on his arm to stop him. She took an ice cube out of the glass and placed it in her mouth seductively. Text and a voiceover stated "DISARONNO. PASS THE PLEASURE AROUND"; the closing shot showed the woman with a group of friends all repeating the gesture with the ice cube and laughing. The complainant objected that the ad was irresponsible because it linked sexual pleasure with alcohol consumption."

The relevant section of the Code is 56.9: Alcoholic Drinks--"Marketing communications must neither link alcohol with seduction, sexual activity or sexual success nor imply that alcohol can enhance attractiveness, masculinity or femininity."

"The ASA noted the CAP Copy Advice Team had advised FDB that the scene with the woman and the ice cube was likely to breach the Code. We considered that the image of the woman touching the barman's arm and placing the ice cube to her mouth conveyed seduction and strong sexual overtones. We concluded that the commercial linked Disaronno with seduction and was therefore in breach of the Code. We told FDB to adopt an approach, in future, which did not link their products with seduction. The commercial breached CAP Code clause 56.9 (Alcohol)."

Read the entire ruling here.

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