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‘Take Courage’ advert banned

Wells & Young’s have been forced to withdraw a poster from their ‘Take Courage’ advertising campaign after the ASA upheld complaints that its message was unacceptable. 

The controversy was sparked by a scene showing a nervous-looking man seated on a sofa with a beer, while a woman models a rather tight fitting dress with the price tag still attached.

Following three complaints about the advertisement, the ASA ruled that it “was likely to be understood by consumers to carry the clear implication that the beer would give the man enough confidence to tell the woman that the dress was unflattering".

According to the Advertising Practice code, alcohol must not be linked to enhancing confidence or physical performance.

Wells & Young’s managing director, Chris Lewis said he was “very surprised” by the decision, explaining that he had previously cleared the advertisements with relevant industry bodies.

He explained: “Our intention through this advertising is to portray humorous everyday occurrences which Courage drinkers can relate to".

It seems the correct answer to the dreaded “Does my bum look big in this?” question has become even more complicated.

Gabriel Savage, 15.04.09

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