If you're ever at a loss for a hit of quasi-judicial material that's easy on the brain and fun to read, try the adjudications of Britain's ASA (no, as Michael lines would say, not that ASA, or that, or that or…), the Advertising Standards Authority. The association's adjudications are made available on a well-designed website, week by week, set out with brevity, and linked to the particular standard that was alleged to have been violated. The one that caught my interest involved a broadcast ad by Moët Hennessy UK Ltd. that:
showed a man sitting on a couch with a woman on either side of him. Both women were looking at the man's face and the woman on his left had her arm around his neck. On a table in front of them were plates of food, glasses of drink and a half full bottle of Belvedere vodka. Text stated "LUXURY REBORN".
Because the internet provides everything, I've found a mini copy of the ad in question on a UK advertising industry site, which you can see on your right.
Someone complained to the ASA that this ad linked alcohol with sexual success and hence was "irresponsible." According to the Committees of Advertising Practice Code, s.56.9:
Marketing communications must neither link alcohol with seduction, sexual activity or sexual success nor imply that alcohol can enhance attractiveness, masculinity or femininity.
To which injunction one might be tempted to respond: hmmm. The ruling is here, for those curious enough to wonder how the menage à trois matter turned out.
Canada has it's own advertising standards body, the ASC (Advertising Standards Canada), but complaints are dealt with in a less interesting and less transparent way, and outcomes are merely reported in a very summary way.
Finally, let me give vent to a peeve of mine: notice how the Canadian agency feels the need to identify that it's in Canada, presumably for fear that someone in Singapore might be misled for a moment; whereas the UK agency doesn't bother at all to identify it's territorial jurisdiction but is simply comfortable in its skin. Canada should stop qualifying its agency names, as though they were branch plants of other enterprises: it's bush.