DISCUS Releases Ad Self-Reg Report

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The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) Thursday released its second semi-annual report on the actions of its Code Review Board, saying all of the member companies cited for code violation had taken actions to modify their advertisements.

The drug manufacturers just this week agreed to employ a similar process to help keep tabs on consumer complaints against direct-to-consumer drug ads.

According to the DISCUS report, the board, a self-regulatory body that reviews complaints about distilled spirits ads, recommended remedial action in 16 of 17 complaints, with 14 of the 16 advertisers agreeing to modify their campaigns, including all five DISCUS members and 9 of 11 nonmembers.

Non-member compliance was an 8% improvement over its first report in March.

The 160-proof DISCUS (i.e. it comprises about 80% of all the distilled spirits sold in the U.S.), cited two non-member companies who failed to modify sexually suggestive print ads: Vodka distributors Bang and Svedka. Each tied their product to naked women in suggestive situations and the board continues to advise them to change the ads. The only broadcast ad, for DISCUS member Bacardi & Cola, was found by the board not to be in violation and no action was suggested or recommended.

A viewer had complained that the tag line: "They get the job done," was sexually suggestive. The code board found that it simply referred to the two characters, Bacardi & Soda, getting themselves out of various situations that need resolving.

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