Smirnoff Vodka’s “Filter the Unnecessary. Keep the Good Stuff.” commercial has been banned in the U.K. The watchdog group Advertising Standards Authority – ASA says the spot is irresponsible and promotes alcohol. They argue that the video shows that alcohol is the route to social success.
The playful ad starts out with a pretentious bar filled with hipsters that act like you are bothering them just to look at them. Then a patron walks into the bar and orders a non-pretentious Smirnoff cocktail and everything changes, the bar flips, there’s a new DJ, the music is pumping and the people are friendly. The ASA argues that the ad infers that alcohol is the cause of the happiness and the ad encourages drinking.
The ad is part of Smirnoff’s $25 million Europe ad campaign. In a statement, Smirnoff marketing director Julie Bramham, said: “We are deeply disappointed by the ASA’s conclusion. We believe the advert clearly showed two scenarios that were separated by a physical change of the bar symbolizing the “filtering” of unnecessary pretentiousness, and not by presence of alcohol… we will await the decision of the ASA’s appeal process.”