ASA warns Marstons over Low ’C ads

Advertising watchdogs have condemned the use of Steve Coogan’s comic creation, Paul Calf, for promoting alcohol in an aggressive and threatening way.

Advertising watchdogs have condemned the use of Steve Coogan’s

comic creation, Paul Calf, for promoting alcohol in an aggressive and

threatening way.



Marstons Brewery and its agency, Simons Palmer TBWA, have been warned by

the Advertising Standards Authority over what it called its ’unsuitable’

presentation of Calf.



But the ASA refused to back the 19 complaints that claimed the poster

campaign promoting Marstons’ Low ’C beer was offensive.



One poster was headlined ’Low ’C is good. Calories are ...’ . The last

word was obscured by sticky labels saying ’Our apologies. Mr Calf

appears to have sampled the product.’ The obscured word was

indentifiable as ’shite’.



Another had the headline, ’It makes other beer taste like cat’s ...’. A

label partly obscured the word ’piss’.



The ASA agreed the posters were unlikely to cause widespread offence,

but warned the brewer to think again about the second poster which

featured Calf brandishing a beer bottle.



The ASA has also issued warnings to the toiletries giants, Colgate

Palmolive and SmithKline Beecham, which have been locked in battle over

each other’s ads for toothpaste and toothbrushes.



The ASA supported SmithKline’s complaint against a Young and Rubicam

poster for Colgate’s Total Fresh Stripe toothpaste, which was headlined

’Outstripes other stripes’. SmithKline claimed the unidentified

toothpaste featured in the poster was like its product, Aquafresh, and

implied Total Fresh Stripe was more effective. The ASA said it had seen

no evidence to suggest the claim was true.



But the ASA backed Colgate’s complaint against a magazine ad for

Aquafresh Flex Direct toothbrushes, in which it challenged the claim

that ’it bends over backwards to give you the best clean you’ve ever

had’.