A magazine ad, for a clothing brand, appeared in the spring '12 issue of Drapers Streetwear. It featured young people, who were on sofas in a backstage setting. There were crushed cups on the floor and various items, including more cups, drinks cans, fruit, bottled water and unlabelled alcohol bottles, were shown on a coffee table.
The complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because she believed it was likely to appeal particularly to people aged under 18.
Bench said they did not condone irresponsible use of alcohol and they did not believe the ad promoted unwise attitudes towards alcohol. They said the unbranded props were used to establish the story behind the image, which was that the models were in a backstage setting, in which there might usually be a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks, after a gig. They said the drinks containers were appropriate alongside the fruit, which formed part of the band's rider, and a clothes rail and flyers. Bench said none of the models were holding drinks or 'interacting' with the drinks containers; they did not appear under the influence of alcohol and were clearly sober. They said their target audience was aged 21 to 35 years and therefore their ads were not aimed at under-18s; in addition, the readership of Drapers, which was a trade publication, was also aged over 18.
Drapers said the publication was the weekly news magazine of the fashion industry and, as such, it was a business-to-business magazine. They did not therefore survey readers to determine their ages. However, the publication was not targeted at consumers or under-18s. They said their readership mainly comprised chief executives, directors, managers, buyers, merchandisers and sales and marketing executives from fashion brands and retailers. They said the ad itself would have been targeted specifically towards retailers to create interest in the Bench brand and they had not received any complaints about it.
The ASA noted the ad included scenes from a backstage setting, which we considered were likely to appeal to under-18s who saw it, by being associated with youth culture. We also noted, however, the ad appeared in a trade-specific publication that was targeted at those aged over 18 years. We considered it was unlikely that under-18s would see the ad and therefore that its appeal to that age group was limited by it being targeted. Because it was not directed at people under 18, we concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. (Responsible advertising) and 18.1 18.1 Marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that is likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise. For example, they should not encourage excessive drinking. Care should be taken not to exploit the young, the immature or those who are mentally or socially vulnerable. 18.14 18.14 Marketing communications must not be likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. They should not feature or portray real or fictitious characters who are likely to appeal particularly to people under 18 in a way that might encourage the young to drink. People shown drinking or playing a significant role (see rule 18.1 18.1 Marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that is likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise. For example, they should not encourage excessive drinking. Care should be taken not to exploit the young, the immature or those who are mentally or socially vulnerable. ) should not be shown behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner. and 18.15 18.15 Marketing communications must not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear. No medium should be used to advertise alcoholic drinks if more than 25% of its audience is under 18 years of age. (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.