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The Ugly Truth

September 1, 2005
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In the U.K., marketers of alcoholic beverages are facing a rather odd dilemma, finding men just unattractive enough to get past advertisement watchdogs.

New advertising rules there forbid any link between women's drinking and sex, and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has a list of undesirable male characteristics demanded of advertisers in order to comply with new, tougher rules intended to separate alcohol from sexual success.

First to face the group's wrath has been the Lambrini brand from Halewood International (Roberttown, U.K.), whose poster ad featured three women snaring a slim, young man. While Lambrini contends it is harmless fun, CAP believes otherwise: “We would advise that the man in the picture should be unattractive--overweight, middle-aged, balding, etc.” Quite what is unattractive about overweight, middle-aged, balding men, the group does not detail.

However, the decision elaborated further, “We consider that the advert 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. If the man was clearly unattractive, we think that this implication would be removed.”

Specifically, the CAP code demands that “links must not be made between alcohol and seduction, sexual activity or sexual success.”

Lambrini owner John Halewood argues, “The watchdog makes some very understandable rulings to encourage sensible drinking, but we are not sure they are qualified to decide for the nation who is sexy and who is not.”

From Prepared Foods' e-Newsletter, Vol. 7, Issue 29, Week of August 8, 2005--See for daily news.

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