Licensee slams ASA for ‘pointless’ investigation into nude beer pong ad

By James Wallin contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Asa, Complaint

Also Known As was criticised for a Facebook ad, despite having already removed it
Also Known As was criticised for a Facebook ad, despite having already removed it
A licensee has criticised the Advertising Standards Agency for launching an investigation into a “provocative” advert which he had already pulled.

Marc Sylvester, owner of Also Known As in Banbury, Oxfordshire, said he had not received a single complaint about the promotion and insisted the matter was “resolved months ago”, yet the ASA insisted on investigating.

He said: “The ASA seems to be an organisation that only exists to perpetuate its existence. “

The ASA found the bar in breach of the advertising code for a Facebook post promoting its beer pong night. It featured an image of a naked woman reclining on a bed with her legs spread apart and her head pixelated. A graphic was superimposed between her legs.

The ASA received two complaints that the ad was “overtly sexual and objectified women”. It upheld the complaint on the basis that the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

But Sylvester said: “This was a post that was removed within less than 48 hours – before the ASA even got in contact with us.

Provocative not offensive

“It was designed to be provocative but not offensive. I was made aware that someone had put the picture on the Facebook page and was complaining about it. I decided that if it was going to cause offence then it wasn’t worth it, so removed the post.

“The ASA then contacted us and said they were going to investigate it and that could mean we would be forced to remove the post. I told them we had already done that so what was the point.

“From then on we have had maybe ten letters from the ASA in which they kept asking for our side of the story. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve told them, there is no side to the story – we put it up and then we took it down. This was resolved months ago.

“To this day I have not received a single direct complaint about it.”

Related topics: Beer

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