Many months ago when I started this blog, I did a series on old beer ads. Pretty much without exception, I found them ridiculous, and mercilessly took the piss out of them. There is of course a reason why beer commercials are ridiculous. It's called the Advertising Standards Agency.
This is possibly slightly unfair. The ASA is basically there to make sure advertisers don't make dubious or blatantly untrue claims about their products. But with alcoholic beverages, the rules are somewhat different. They're not allowed to tell the truth
You cannot say drinking alcohol will make you more popular. You cannot say alcohol will increase your chances of sexual success. You cannot even say alcohol gets you drunk. If you even imply any of this, your ad will be banned.
Such a phenomenon has just happened to Captain Morgan. Apparently, the ASA Youth think that you shouldn't encourage young people to go out in the middle of the week with their friends where they may, the horror, consume intoxicating drinks. I mean, what? Are these youngsters children of diehard Salvation Army types? Do they have any idea what real young people do to relax in 2014? Even twenty years ago, I can tell you a lot more happened than a quiet chat over a couple of Single Morgans Spiced & Cokes.
With the well-documented fall in alcohol consumption by the under-25s, the likes of Diageo are probably justified in trying anything to increase business, but is that ad really such a grave threat to the Youth Of Today? Whatever happened to allowing people to make mistakes and to learn from them?
I'll be surprised if today's young people ever manage to grow up at all.