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Brit watchdogs: sexy guys make women drink too much

If you’re in Great Britain, you’ll see more bodies like the one on the left shilling booze, and no more hardbodies like Pitt.

This is a preposterous story. It smells like BriTaliban wingnuttery, intended to help stem binge drinking. What science is behind this? Hmmm. I don’t think most of the students around campuses here are paying attention to commercials when the kegs arrive, but maybe the Brits are just different.

Lambrini, the popular sparkling drink, is the first to suffer. Its manufacturers have complained after watchdogs rejected its latest campaign because it depicted women flirting with a man who was deemed too attractive. The offending poster featured three women “hooking” a slim, young man in a parody of a fairground game scene. Harmless fun to lead its summer campaign, Lambrini argued.

But the Committee of Advertising Practice declared: “We would advise that the man in the picture should be unattractive — overweight, middle-aged, balding etc.” The ruling continued: “We consider that the advert is in danger of implying that the drink may bring sexual/social success, because the man in question looks quite attractive and desirable to the girls. If the man was clearly unattractive, we think that this implication would be removed.”

The ruling comes after ministers’ warnings to the drinks industry to take measures to tackle binge-drinking or face legislation. The new CAP code instructs that “links must not be made between alcohol and seduction, sexual activity or sexual success”. Romance and flirtation are not forbidden but adverts must not be aimed at the under-18s or use celebrities in a “sexy” or “cool” manner.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding