A TV ad promoted a competition to win VIP passes to a Madonna tour, in association with Smirnoff vodka. The voice-over stated Last November Smirnoff gave 11 dancers a chance to compete for a spot on Madonna’s next tour. Now you can be there too. Get the Smirnoff Limited edition pack and you could win VIP access to Madonna’s next tour. Madonna’s MDNA, available now everywhere.The ad featured shots of individual dancers followed by scenes from a Madonna performance. There were a number of different shots of Madonna dancing amongst people and on stage. The ad also featured a shot of the limited edition Smirnoff bottle and box, which was accompanied by the textwhy let good times go bad, know the facts drinkaware.co.uk . The ad concluded by showing an image of Madonna’s new album with the caption AVAILABLE NOW EVERYWHERE .
A complainant challenged whether the ad was harmful and irresponsible because he believed it would appeal to those under 18 years of age.
Diageo Great Britain Ltd (Diageo) said they did not believe that Madonna had a strong appeal to individuals under the age of 18, and therefore they understood that under 18s were unlikely to follow her example. They stated that Madonna was a 53-year-old performing artist who rose to prominence in the 1980s and that her fan base was predominantly made up of music lovers from the 1980s and 1990s.
ASA Decision: Complaint not upheld
The ASA acknowledged that Madonna was a performing artist that had risen to fame in the 1980s. We understood the longevity of her career, her established celebrity status and her strong media presence. We acknowledged that as well as still being active in the music industry and collaborating with a number of younger artists, she was also involved in the film industry and had launched two fashion labels. We noted, however, Diageo’s research which showed that 4.7% of 12- to 17-year-olds in the UK were defined as Madonna fans, as they regularly listened to her music, had previously bought or downloaded her music, and followed her in the press or online.
We considered that the ad had been designed with Madonna’s older fan base in mind and that the shots of the concert, the dancers and the Madonna soundtrack used, would not have particular resonance with younger audiences. We noted that the ad did not feature any individuals that appeared to be below the age of 25 and that no alcohol was consumed. We therefore concluded that the ad was not targeted at, or likely to appeal to, those under the age of 18.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence) and, 19.15.1 and 19.15.2 (Rules that apply to alcohol advertisements) but did not find it in breach.