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ASA: Use old, fat, bald men in ads

Published:  23 July, 2008

More bald and overweight' men should be used in alcohol ads, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Halewood International, producer of sparkling perry Lambrini, was advised in a memo from the ASA that for its proposed Fun in the Sun' campaign, the company should replace a male model with someone unattractive - ie overweight, middle-aged, balding etc'. The memo went on to say: In its current form, we consider that the ad is in danger of implying that the drink may bring sexual/social success, because the man in question looks quite attractive and desirable to the girls.'

Last year, a number of complaints were upheld by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which works alongside the ASA, over a Lambrini poster campaign that appeared in railway stations in Liverpool to coincide with the Grand National. The posters showed three women, one holding a glass of Lambrini, with captions such as I love a man with a powerful beast between his legs' and Better to be on the jockey who comes last'. After the adjudication, Halewood was required to have subsequent campaigns vetted by CAP.

Company CEO John Halewood said: The ASA makes some very understandable rulings to encourage sensible drinking, but we're not sure they're qualified to decide for the nation who's sexy and who's not. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps the ASA people should take a look in the mirror before they decide they've got the rulebook on sexual prowess?'

An ASA spokeswoman said: It's all about the context. At a time when alcohol advertising is under scrutiny, people are mindful that you have to be seen to be complying with the rules. There is no policy on who can and can't appear in alcohol ads.'

Alcohol marketing must not link alcohol consumption with social or sexual success, and the spokeswoman added that ASA/CAP will seek to ensure that advertisers do not repeat the same mistakes that they have made in the past'.

Bacardi-Martini, which recently hired George Clooney to appear in a number of Martini TV ads, said that it was confident' that Clooney met the standards required under the new code', and confirmed that the actor would be used in future campaigns.