All around the world our advertising colleagues are being increasingly scrutinized over their work. Granted, some of the scrutiny is warranted; it is unfortunate that the bad rap that advertising receives didn't appear out of thin air. Our industry has some bad apples.
But as our interconnected world continues to shrink, we see our industry's ability to playfully exaggerate or creatively express different ideas being capped because "consumer advocacy groups" and advertising watchdogs believe that the public may be duped or fail to understand the themes being presented.
To illustrate, let's focus on the latest ad banned by our regulatory cousin, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), from the organization Let There Be Beer.
The ad is below.
Why was that banned ad? Because, according to the ASA, the ad broke several tenets of the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice Code (BCAP). Plus, the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council believed the ad insinuated that having a beer increased popularity and confidence.
The ad, created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, was meant to show an — as the Coalition of UK Brewers, put it — "exaggerated interpretation of real life."
We would totally agree. If a gentleman was worried about impressing the father of his date, this ad, in no way, tempts you to have a beer in order to be liked. But I am sure many guys can recall their first drink with the father of the girl they are dating. Nor does the lady going to the pub after work show that every person working should run to the pub for a drink in honor of the end of the day.
But many people can recall a time when work was hectic and they enjoyed a happy hour with friends afterwards.
This isn't mind control or manipulation. These things happen.
It is a decent ad, talking about beer. That's it. People need to calm down.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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