The Advertising Standards Council, an industry watchdog group, has begun an inquiry into the Eagle Bitter commercials following complaints that the ads are sexist and demeaning to women.
Should the ASC uphold the complaints, SA Brewing will be forced to withdraw the ads from broadcast and reconsider the marketing strategy behind the advertising of the brand.
The two TV ads are centered on the slogan 'The Beer Man's Beer' and depict the difference between a person who is a beer man and one that is not.
Among other things, the ads deem that hairdressing is not a beer man's job and claim that a blue-heeler is a beer man's dog because it can pull the clothes off a woman with its teeth.
Since the campaign first started to roll out nationally at the end of November, it has attracted attention on talk programs. This has included on-air battles between opponents of the ads and John Singleton, the proprietor and executive creative director of the agency that created the campaign, John Singleton Advertising. Singleton has maintained that the commercials will not alienate women. This position has also been endorsed by SA Brewing divisional general manager Glenn Wheatland, who says the ads are 'tongue-in-cheek.'
Eagle Bitter will need to win the support of women if it is to successfully take on Carlton & United Breweries' VR, the leader in the national bitter market.
Penny Warneford in news editor with AdNews in Sydney.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)