UK ad watchdog looks silly with Virgin Holidays ‘rockstar’ poster ban

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s ad watchdog which usually manages to deal sensibly with barmy complaints, has made itself look silly by banning a Virgin Holidays poster called ‘rockstar’ showing four skinny troubadours in a jacuzzi filled with champagne after receiving just one complaint.

The ad, from the Miles Calcraft agency, ran on London Underground.

The ASA says the ad promoted a “casual” attitude to drinking (one of the rockstars has a glass in each hand, as they do) and would be seen by impressionable youngsters, which it would.

Virgin Holidays, somewhat aggrieved, says the ad is just supposed to show that it can deal with the most outlandish request from its customers.

It could have added that it’s a joke. Maybe they’re banned now too.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.