The World: New York - Absolut Vodka breaks voluntary TV ad ban

Absolut Vodka has broken the drinks industry's voluntary ban of spirits advertising on broadcast TV by airing a 30-second spot called "hugs" during the Grammy Awards ceremony shown on CBS.

The ad, which was produced by TBWA\Chiat\Day, showed a parallel universe in which affection was substituted for money, with a kiss on the cheek being the elective currency.

In 2001, NBC became the first US broadcaster to carry a liquor ad when Smirnoff Vodka advertised during Saturday Night Live. The subsequent backlash from Congress and advocacy groups led to the voluntary ban being imposed.