An outdoor ad for Carlton Draught has drawn a complaint to the advertising watchdog because it tries to persuade men that it is unmanly to wash their hands after going to the toilet.
The billboard, located at the corner of Victoria Road and Robert Street in Rozelle, Sydney, reads ‘The Carlton Draught Tap. The only tap men use at the pub’.
The complaint, made by a 40-something male lawyer, reads: “The advertising message implies that men, real or otherwise, do not wash their hands when they are at the pub, or that it is unmanly to do so.”
“The ad encourages behaviour – namely, not washing hands after urinating or defecating – that is contrary to public health messages about hygiene and disease prevention and control and on which various government agencies spend millions of dollars promoting annually.
The grievance continued: “For the foregoing reasons, is against the public interest to an extent that far outweighs the rights or need of the advertiser to promote its product in such a counter-productive manner, i.e. its removal would not prevent the advertiser from conveying the benefits, characteristics and qualities of its product in a more responsible, not least tasteful or imaginative manner.”
The complainant went so far as to suggest alternative copy for the ad: ‘Caaarlton Draught – Australia’s Triple A Beer.’
The complaint is currently being reviewed by the Advertising Standards Bureau, which initially threw it out for not breaching its code on alcohol advertising.
The man pointed out that the ad might offend community standards on health or safety, as per section 2 of the Code of Ethics, and the ASB subsequently reviewed his complaint.
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, the agency that made the ad, declined to comment.