Sunday, July 31, 2005


'Balding' And 'Paunchy' Advertising Standards Authority Workers Wish To Feel Better About Themselves

Perhaps. That's certainly one possible reason for this, anyway. If you can't be bothered with the link, here's the story:

The Advertising Standards Authority have the power to ban adverts upon the most spurious of excuses. In the past, they, and Ofcom before them, were not exactly averse to using these powers to push forward a politically-correct agenda. This week, they have decided an advert for Lambrini goes beyond the limit, as it shows a handsome young man being 'hooked' by three women. The ASA suggested that in future men in alcohol advertisements should be 'balding' and 'paunchy', in order to counter the shocking idea that alcohol makes people sexy.

It hardly needs saying that this ruling is an illiberal outrage, but here's why anyway:

1) I know what I find sexy. Everyone has a different view on this, obviously. 'Balding' and 'paunchy' may be deeply sexy to some.

2) This ruling comes worryingly soon after the British Medical Association, who, as usual, represent only their members interests and fuck everybody else, voted at their annual conference to ban alcohol advertising, a la tobacco. It may very well happen sooner than you think.

3) The rules for advertising alcohol are already preposterously strict. For example, you cannot show someone buying 'rounds.' Why? Who do they think they're fooling?

4) Every other week, various busybodying organisations like to remind us that we have the worst (or best, in my view) binge drinking culture this side of the Urals. Do they really think that rulings like this will have the slightest effect on the number of us getting wankered?

5) The public are intelligent enough to make their own choices. We certainly don't need the unaccountable representatives of an unelected quango telling us how to view alcohol.

6) Many witty and intelligent adverts for alcoholic products have been based upon a premise of sexual attraction. It scarcely needs saying, but: censorship always stifles creative impulses.

and finally:

7) I rather liked the advert in question.

This story seems to have caused a bit of a stir, and intelligent analysis can be found here, here and here.

The ad was altered with a balding man the regulators found acceptable.

This is why viral advertising is the future.

I regret to say that alcohol taken in sufficient quantities makes 'balding' and 'paunchy' very sexy indeed. Sadly this effect rarely lasts to the following morning.
To be honest, it doesn't really matter for most blokes. As long as it lasts a while, that's long enough.

In fact, I once go drunk enough to find 'balding' and 'paunchy' sexy, but fortunately I realised she was in her sixties before I did anything stupid.

Still, everyday a school day. Now I know toupees don't hide everything.
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