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Windhoek beer ad banned in SA for entrenching 'toxic masculinity'

27 January 2021 8:12 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Advertising
Andy Rice
Masculinity
branding
Gerard Butler
stereotypes
toxic masculinity
Advertising Regulatory Board
ARB
Windhoek beer
Windhoek lager
Louis Gossett
'real men'

Teased for requesting lime with your beer? The Advertising Regulatory Board says the message is that 'real men drink real beer'.

"Real men drink real beer. It's one of the great advertising stereotypes, isn't it?"

The stereotype of masculinity in advertising is under the spotlight again.

South Africa's Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has ruled that Windhoek Beer must withdraw or amend its TV campaign.

Image: Screengrab from Windhoek Beer TV campaign

The advert features what the ARB describes as "a gentle looking, redheaded man" requesting a slice of lime with his Windhoek Lager.

The role of the man who consequently teases him is played by Scottish actor Gerard Butler who "is associated with macho movie roles".

The advertisement, rather than drawing attention to the purity of the taste of their product, paints a clear picture of an aspect of the target market; and that market is a stereotyped macho man who buckles to the pressure of his peers in order to fit in. This breaches the provisions of Clause 3.5 of Section II as read with the definitions.

Advertising Regulatory Board ruling

Branding and advertising expert Andy Rice weighs in on The Money Show.

He notes that this stereotype also features in earlier Windhoek commercials.

Remember another famous actor (Louis Gossett Jnr) monitoring a guy eyeing a red speedo and a pink drink?

I wonder whether it's harmless fun or whether there's something actually quite nasty at play here...

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host

The question is: Do advertising agencies and do their clients have a responsibility to lead society, or to reflect changes in society?

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

I don't think that either of them is the wrong strategy, but the interesting thing is you can't really do both.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

The scale of judgment as to whether something is offensive or not is not absolute... Ads will fall at different levels on that spectrum according to who's viewing them.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

Watch the offending ad below:

Listen to the conversation on The Money Show:




27 January 2021 8:12 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Advertising
Andy Rice
Masculinity
branding
Gerard Butler
stereotypes
toxic masculinity
Advertising Regulatory Board
ARB
Windhoek beer
Windhoek lager
Louis Gossett
'real men'

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