Jim Beam

Ad: The Stalker


Advertisements for alcohol beverages must present a mature, balanced and responsible approach to the consumption of alcohol beverages and must not promote offensive behaviour...[ABAC Code 2013]Ad: The ad featured an attractive woman in a bar who admits to following her ex-boyfriend for extended periods despite a restraining order prohibiting her from doing so. 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."

Where it appeared: TV and online

The community said:

The advertisement failed to promote a responsible approach to the consumption of alcohol by linking it to, and trivialising, the criminal, offensive behaviour of stalking. The advertisement was contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.

What the ABAC said:
Complaint was upheld.
The Panel believes the television ad is in breach of section (a) of the ABAC. The ad fails to present a responsible approach to alcohol consumption. Domestic violence is a serious social and criminal justice issue in Australia. The ad presents a woman who is:

  • positioned in a bar consuming alcohol; 
  • communicating in a manner which is slightly irrational and whose behaviour could arguably be influenced by alcohol consumption; 
  • relating her history of stalking. 

The ad is a parody, but the humour does not mean it is not promoting offensive behaviour and failing to present a responsible approach to alcohol use. This is reinforced by the final message of ‘stalk your mates' which advised of the link to the product website. This message was not part of the version of the ad granted pre-vetting approval.

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