The call has gone out for a shake-up in the rules on alcohol advertising
after the banning of two commercials for a wine-based springwater.
Two ten-second films promoting the new drink, DNA, have fallen foul of
the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre which claims they have
transvestite undertones and are overtly sexual.
One ad features a man’s sunburned chest which appears to show the
outline of a bikini top. Another shows a man trying to kiss a woman
under her arm. The scenes are interspersed with messages such as ‘I am
not illegal’ and ‘I’m a heat-seeking panther’.
But Summerfield Wilmot Keene, the agency that produced the films, says
the rules forcing them off air are outdated because they take no account
of the alcopop phenomenon and the raunchy youth programming that now
surrounds much advertising.
Paul Wilmot, the SWK creative director, said: ‘I have a lot of sympathy
for the BACC which is understandably nervous since the arrival of
alcopops. But the rules have to keep pace with changes in the youth
market.’ He also called on advertising watchdogs to make their rulings
on contentious scripts before the commercials are made. By waiting to
see the films, he claimed, the BACC forces advertisers to risk money on
an ad that might be banned.
Uisdean Maclean, the BACC’s head of advertising clearance, said he was
willing to consider any proposals for changes in the alcohol advertising
rules but saw no pressing need to revise them.
He claimed it was common for the BACC to withold final approval on
drinks ads until the final versions had been seen. ‘Advertisers have a
pretty good idea of what the outcome will be before they commit
themselves,’ he said.
The BACC has approved five other commercials in the pounds 1.2 million
DNA campaign - running under the theme ‘Pure water that’s lost its
innocence’ - after calling for a number of script changes.