Jim Beam’s ‘Stalker’ TVC pulled
Who said that alcohol advertising can be culturally insensitive? A Jim Beam TVC, ‘The Stalker’, has been pulled of the air after a complaint by health agencies was upheld by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB).
‘The Stalker’ is part of an ongoing Jim Beam advertising campaign entitled ‘The Bourbon’, which features an attractive woman in a bar who admits to following her ex-boyfriend for extended periods despite having a restraining order prohibiting her to do so.
The complaint by the Alcohol Policy Coalition – a group comprising the Cancer Council Victoria, VicHealth, the Australian Drug Foundation and Turning Point – argued the advertisement and its associated website contravened both the Alcohol Beverage Advertising Code and the Australian National Advertisers Code of Ethics.
The Alcohol Policy Coalition’s Geoff Munro says the advertisement is irresponsible and offensive and contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.
“This advertisement promotes and trivialises stalking, which is a criminal offence, and sends viewers a dangerous message that it’s acceptable to engage in this behaviour. It clearly presents an irresponsible approach to the consumption of alcohol through its association of a Jim Beam product with this offensive behaviour.”
It pointed viewers to a website where they are invited to choose from a list of SMS messages to send to a person of their choice.
Examples included: ‘Don’t turn round baby, but you look so hot. Speaking of babies ours’d be so cute, like you. I wonder what we’d call them?’ and ‘Who is she? It’s not your sister ’cause she’s tied up in my basement. I forgive you. It’s me or it’s no one! I hate u but I love u.’ Creepy stuff.
However, since the announcement of the ad’s banning, it’s been viewed on YouTube over 5000 times. Pulling the TVC has given the campaign more publicity – perhaps proof that controversy works?