Agency: Cheetham Bell JWT, Manchester, England
Owner of Lambrini alcoholic-drinks company advertises in his backyard for fat, bald man for ads
[London] When U.K. regulators ordered Lambrini to use fat bald men instead of hunks in ads, the alcoholic-drinks maker followed instructions to the letter. Lambrini responded with a poster seeking "fat, bald, middle-aged male golfers" to star in an ad. The poster was erected in the back garden of John Halewood, owner of Lambrini. His land backs on to the Royal Birkdale golf course where the British Women's Open Championship was being played.
Lambrini's original offending poster showed three young women "winning" a hunky young man in a parody of a traditional fairground game. The Advertising Standards Authority, concerned about binge drinking among young women, invoked regulations banning links between alcohol and sexual success.
"If the man was clearly unattractive, we think that this implication would be removed," an ASA spokesman said. "This does not mean that we are banning attractive people from alcohol advertising."
Mr. Halewood, chairman of Lambrini parent Halewood International, said, "We're not sure the ASA is qualified to decide for the nation who's sexy and who's not. Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder-perhaps the ASA should take a look in the mirror before they decide they've got the rulebook on sexual prowess."
He pointed out that Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery and Bruce Willis are unattractive under ASA guidelines.
Lambrini's agency, Cheetham Bell JWT, Manchester, created the poster as part of its long-running "Girls just wanna have fun" campaign. Mr. Halewood and the agency reluctantly replaced the hunk with a model who fits the ASA's description. Lambrini was ordered to clear ads with the ASA after poster ads featured innuendo-laden copy based on horse racing such as "I love a man with a powerful beast between his legs."