An advertisement for alcoholic drink WKD has been ruled offensive by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The advert which appeared in the trade press - including the Publican Newspaper - showed a naked man holding open his raincoat with his crotch covered only by a bottle of WKD. The caption read "Now that's WKD exposure".
The complainants claimed the advert was pornographic and offensive, especially as it portrayed an illegal act - indecent exposure. But brand owner Beverage Brands argued the campaign was meant to be funny and light-hearted.
The ASA upheld the complaints and concluded that the advertisement was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and welcomed the advertisers' decision not to use it again.
A further complaint that the advert breached ASA guidelines by linking alcohol with sexual performance was not upheld after Beverage Brands pointed out that the advertisement was directed at the trade, not consumers.
The company successfully argued that it would be pointless to suggest to the trade that drinking WKD could enhance their sexual prowess because consumers, not the trade, would drink the product.
A spokeman for Beverage Brands said: "We accept the ASA ruling and apologise for any offence caused. WKD has a fun and irreverent brand personality and its advertising sets out to place the brand in light-hearted, comic situations in keeping with its highly successful 'Have You Got a WKD side?' strapline.
"It is never Beverage Brands intention to offend its audience - rather to make them smile."