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Advert for cream liqueur banned by ASA

The following adjudication details are as published by the ASA on July 1, 2009.

Number of complaints: 1
Date: 1 July 2009
Media: Magazine
Sector: Alcohol
Agency: Tomcat

An ad, in a trade magazine, for Wild Africa Cream Liqueur, showed a couple embracing. The woman's arm was covered in leopard skin, similar to that on the liqueur bottle. Scratch marks appeared next to the text "Unleash your wild side." Text at the bottom of the page stated "Everyone has a wild side to them. Discover yours with Wild Africa Cream.  Not for sale to persons under the age of 18 years."

1.  Alcohol Concern objected that the ad, which showed scratches on the man's back, linked alcohol to seduction, sexual activity or sexual success.

2.  The ASA challenged whether the ad implied a link between alcohol and a change in mood or enhanced confidence.
The CAP Code:  56.8;56.9

Wild Cape Liqueurs (Wild Cape) said the ad was part of a series.  They explained that the scratches, which appeared as a design element in all their ads, were part of their corporate logo and were not meant to be real, as evidenced by the fact that they were filled in with a leopard skin pattern.  They said the campaign was intended to suggest to consumers that the fun personality of the brand would be something new for them to experience, and there was no obvious innuendo that would encourage excessive consumption or inebriation.  They pointed out many advertising slogans could be seen as suggestive if one looked for a particular meaning.  

Wild Cape said the ad portrayed a fully clothed adult couple in a light embrace and they had not intended there to be any sexual suggestion.  They pointed out that an embrace with a light two-cheek kiss was an accepted form of greeting in Europe.  They claimed that the real message of the ad was the fun element of the skin on the woman's arm changing to leopard skin as she rediscovered her "wild side", which, they believed, would not be taken seriously.  They said the other ads in the campaign replicated that fun element in various ways, again with no sexual suggestion.  

They said the ad was placed in a trade magazine rather than a consumer publication and would therefore be seen only by people in the drinks industry, but pointed out that it was part of an international campaign that had attracted no other complaints.

1. Upheld
The ASA noted the scratch mark was stylised and formed part of Wild Cape's brand identity, appearing alongside the strapline "Unleash your wild side". We considered that it was obviously part of that identity and, although it appeared on the man's back, it was unlikely to be seen by readers as having been inflicted by the woman.  However, we noted the couple were depicted in an embrace with their foreheads touching and that the woman's arm was covered in leopard skin. We considered that the image of the couple, in conjunction with the strapline "Unleash your wild side", implied that the woman's consumption of Wild Africa Cream Liqueur had led to her seducing the man.  We concluded that the ad linked alcohol with seduction and therefore breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clause 56.9 (Alcoholic drinks)

2.  Upheld
We noted the ad showed a smiling woman in an embrace with a man, with their foreheads touching and her arm covered in leopard skin.  We considered that the image and the strapline "Unleash your wild side" suggested that Wild Africa Cream Liqueur had changed the woman’s mood and enhanced her confidence. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clause 56.8 (Alcoholic drinks).

The ad must not appear again in its current form.  We told Wild Cape not to link alcohol with seduction or to link alcohol with a change in mood or enhanced confidence. We also told them not to use the strapline "Unleash your wild side" in future advertising.



July 1 09

1 July 2009 - Felicity Murray