Commercial 1: Ovine, o mores!
News this morning of a judgement from the Advertising Standards Authority about two adverts from brewers Young's & Co.
The adverts, part of the 'This is a ram's world' campaign that the brewery currently has running (and which has run before) have been censured by the ASA. One featured a 'ram' (a man with a ram's head) holding court at a gentleman's club. The other showed a similar man/ram surrounded bikini-clad ewes... sorry, women, by a swimming pool. (You can see some other parts of the campaign at www.ramsworld.co.uk.)
Of the two adverts, the ASA says:
The ASA considered that the posters depicted the 'ram' at the centre of social attention and were likely to be seen as linking alcohol with social success... We [also] considered that a man with a ram's head would not be seen to be attractive and that the poster did not therefore link alcohol with enhanced attractiveness. For the same reason, we considered that the scene did not suggest the 'ram' would be sexually successful with the women around the pool. We considered, however, that the strap line "This is a ram's world" emphasised that Young's drinkers were personified by the ram; the poster, by showing the ram as the focal point of the attentions of several women, suggested that Young's drinkers were more likely to be the target for seduction (italics mine).
I'm sure the ASA's logic is impeccable, but it does appear that the implications are:
1) drinking Young's gives you a ram's head;
2) you will be popular but not attractive, a 21st century Elephant Man one supposes;
3) there are women out there who will seduce you for being the new John Merrick;
4) you therefore, as Young's drinker, have to be protected from these ravenous seductresses and, presumably, the inevitable News of the Screws kiss 'n' tell: 'Ewe! Ram man was just wham bam thank you mam! I didn't get the horn!'
[Bias alert: Young's Double Chocolate Stout of is a drink a pure genius. I've never pulled while drinking it. Then again, I've never grown a ram's head while drinking it either.]