Social and/or sexual success
Advertising messages for alcoholic beverages may not arouse the impression that there is a causal connection between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and being socially and sexually successful. The impression that this causal connection exists can also arise by means of the suggestion that alcohol is consumed without really showing the alcohol (consumption).
More specifically the messages as described in the explanation of Article 8 are not permitted (this list is not exhaustive).
Explanation of Article 8
• messages in which one or several people are portrayed in a ‘before’ versus ‘after’ situation, where in the ‘before’ situation one or several people evidently fail in social and/or interpersonal skills and after the consumption of an alcoholic beverage in the ‘after’ situation dispose of social and/or interpersonal skills;
• messages in which someone gets a job or a promotion at his work as a result of alcohol (consumption);
• messages in which someone evidently obtains more social status as a direct result of alcohol (consumption).
• messages in which a situation in a bar or club or at a party is shown in which other people are only willing to dance with the central figure in the message after he/she has drunk an alcoholic beverage (and who evidently do not want to do this before that time);
• messages in which people are portrayed in a ‘before’ versus ‘after’ situation in which the successful picking up of someone in a catering facility or getting into a sexual relationship is portrayed, as a direct result of alcohol (consumption);
• messages in which a person takes off his/her clothes, takes up a more provocative position or evidently makes him-/herself sexually available with regard to either another person in the message, or the viewer, where it is abundantly clear that this is the result of alcohol (consumption).
• messages in which a man completely takes off his clothes or has someone else take them off completely or is completely naked (even if this is not evidently the result of alcohol (consumption));
• messages in which a woman takes off her clothes or has someone else take off her clothes until she is topless or completely naked, or messages in which she is topless or naked (even if this is not evidently the result of alcohol (consumption)).
NB: showing one or several people who are (already) sexually or socially successful is in itself not in conflict with Article 8 of the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages (RvA).
Guidelines to Article 8 – Social and sexual success
‘Sex sells’ is a widely known piece of marketing wisdom. In alcohol advertisements it is also possible to portray beautiful people. But the industry has also imposed some limits on itself here. Here it is central that no causal connection may be shown between drinking alcoholic beverages and social and/or sexual success. Especially avoid any ‘before / after’ situations, in which drinking alcoholic beverages is visible or the suggestion that this is done is strongly present. The reason for this is that alcoholic beverages may not be presented as some kind of ‘miracle drug’ which leads to whichever type of success. Also make sure that you do not go too far in using any sexually tinted images. After all, that what is still cultured to one person, can be offending to another person.
A well-known foreign example of a violation of this article, is that of a TV commercial of Carling from 2002. This commercial shows a man who in an increasingly excited condition licks up a track of beer that has been made by his wife by pouring out a can of beer through the entire house. The house is becoming sparkling clean and the man is getting more and more excited, especially when they finally reach the bedroom. There they are out of beer and as a result of this, the excitement of the man disappears as well.
Flirting is allowed, especially when people are not drinking …
In the Hij/Zij (He/She) commercial of Wieckse Witte and Rosé you see a man and woman flirting with each other in an outdoor café with a glass of Wieckse Witte and Rosé in front of them on the table. At the end of the commercial they toast together with their glasses in their hands. Apart from the fact whether flirting is or is not sexual success, they are not drinking, so it is unrealistic to see a causal connection between the consumption of an alcoholic beverage and sexual success.
… but there are limits: Cult Shaker of R&B Beverage
A printed advertising message shows two ladies with bare upper bodies who are at the point of kissing each other and some bottles of Cult Shaker. The RCC judged that the impression is aroused that there is a causal connection between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and sexual success.