Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Jones, SC, Beer, Boats and Breasts: Responses to a controversial alcohol advertising campaign, in Purchase, S (ed), Proceedings for the ANZMAC Conference, University of Western Australia, 2005.


Over the last 30 years there has been a notable increase in the use of sexual appeals in advertising. In 2003, as with previous years, approximately 30% of all complaints to the Australian Advertising Standards Board related to portrayal of sex/sexuality/nudity and for the past four years this has been the most common issue prompting complaints. The stimulus for this study was a current television commercial for a full-strength beer which used an overt sexual/sexist appeal. The ad has been the subject of a large number of complaints to the ASB, which were rejected as the ASB deemed that the ad did not breach community standards. We found that the ad was particularly disliked by female respondents and was interpreted to be offensive to women. The results of this study suggest that the ASB may not be a good judge of ‘prevailing community standards’.