How offensive can an advert be before getting banned? Well, the Australian government didn’t waste time on a particular wine advert that was perceived as indecently sexist. Checkout this throwback story by Daily Mail. Did the Australian government go too far by banning the advert or did they do the right thing? Someone could simply argue the advertiser was just being creative and should be commended. So what is the line between creativity and indecency? Read the story.
An innuendo-laden advert for an Australian wine maker has been banned for being offensive and objectifying women after making an obvious reference to oral sex.
The online ad for Premier Estates Wine showed a woman with a strategically placed glass of red wine, using the tagline ‘you can almost taste the bush’.
It caused outrage online, leading to several complaints which finally saw the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banning the ad.
The ad, which appeared in an online YouTube video for Aussie winemakers Premier Estates Wine as well as on its Twitter account, stars a brunette model singing the praises of the wine.
She is shown with a glass of red wine, saying ‘take this exquisite Aussie shiraz, a mere £5.99 a bottle’ and then taking a sip and adding: “Mmm, Luscious, earthy, bursting with fruit and spice.”
She then places the glass down on a table in front of her – right in front of her crotch – and says: “Australia practically jumps out of the glass – in fact, some say you can almost taste the bush.”
She then looked awkwardly away from the camera before picking up her glass and walking away from the table.
The Twitter campaign also showed the same woman in a cropped photo showing just her torso and lower body with the glass of red wine ‘directly in front of her crotch’ with overlaid text reading ‘I want to #TasteTheBush’.
Eight people complained after seeing the ads, including Wine Australia – a statutory body which promotes Aussie wines abroad – saying the ads were offensive as they were sexist and degrading towards women.
Three of the eight complainants, including Alcohol Concern, challenged whether the ads were in breach of advertising codes because they linked alcohol with sexual activity.
Bosses at the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed and banned the ads for being offensive and treating women as sex objects – and making an obvious reference to oral sex.
It stated: “The ASA considered that most viewers would understand the claim ‘some say you can almost taste the bush’ to be a reference to oral sex, particularly given that it was accompanied with the image of the wine glass positioned directly in front of the woman’s crotch.
“The line appeared towards the end of the ad and, in conjunction with the image, which emphasised the sexual connotation, created the final impression left by the ad.
“While the woman was immediately aware of the double-entendre and seemingly only mildly embarrassed as a result, we considered that it served to undermine her as, until that point, she had been portrayed as confident and in control while discussing the merits of the wine, in what appeared to be a relaxed and informal party atmosphere.
“For that reason, we considered that the ad presented the woman in a degrading manner, and concluded that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
It added: “We noted that the ad included a still from the video, which only showed the woman’s arms and torso, with a glass of red wine resting on a table directly in front of her crotch, and the text “#TasteTheBush” overlaid.
“While we understood the claim was intended to be tongue-in-cheek and could be construed to relate to the qualities of Australian wine, we considered that recipients would understand the dual meaning and the clear reference to oral sex.
“We considered that the cropped image which concealed the woman’s face accompanied by text that was also referring to her genitalia and oral sex, served to reduce the woman to merely a sexual object.
“In light of that, we considered that the ad presented the woman in a degrading manner and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
The ASA continued: “We considered that consumers would understand the claim “£TasteTheBush”, particularly when accompanied with an image of a woman standing behind a wine glass, which emphasised her crotch, to be a double-entendre referring to both Australian red wine, and female genitalia and oral sex.
“We also noted that the ads clearly promoted an alcoholic product and that an image of a glass of red wine was featured in each ad.
“Because the ads clearly referenced oral sex and featured an alcoholic product, we concluded that they linked alcohol with sexual activity and were in breach of the Code.
“The ads must not appear again in their current form.
“We told Premier Estates Wine to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence and to ensure they did not link alcohol with sexual activity in future.”
Bosses at Budge Brands, which trades as Premier Estates Wine, stated that the campaign was targeted at ‘a mature 35- to 45-year-old, wine-drinking, audience and was intended to be playful and tongue-in-cheek’.
It said that it could understand that the ‘joke’ might ‘not be to everyone’s taste’, but that the woman ‘was in charge and owned the joke’ and that it was a ‘simple double entendre’.
The ads were slammed on social media for being ‘tasteless and sexist’.
Ebony McKenna wrote: “She looks miserable. Like your sexist ad @premestateswine.”
Abigail Edge wrote: “Is your wine as tasteless as your advertising?” and LucyLou wrote: “Are your wines are as bad as your creepy, sexist, objectifying adverts? £TasteTheBush.”
Source: Daily Mail UK