A complaint levelled at the following advertisement for the film "ted" suggested that the image was irresponsible on the ground that the association of a children's toy with alcohol was likely to appeal to children.
Click here to view the image.
Whilst it was acknowledged that the image of a teddy bear might appeal to younger children, the ASA considered that even if such children were aware of alcohol and recognised the bottle as a beer bottle, the overall content of the ad was unlikely to encourage them to drink. In addition, the ad would not appeal to teenagers or encourage them to drink on the grounds that it did not include anything which might be associated with "youth culture" and was not glamorous or attractive. Notwithstanding this, on receipt of the complaint Universal Pictures also added an "age-gate" to the website that featured the advert.
This decision and that of the advertisement for clothing company Criminal Damage (featured in our May edition http://info.speechlys.com/rv/ff00062c9bd496b2330ffd67ec409d4d3f988c43) reflects the fact that the ASA is moving away from an arbitrary and rigid application of its principles to a more sophisticated analysis of an advertisement's impact on the viewing public.