As long-time cord-cutters (for the cash, not the principle), we have to rely on our trusty Twitter friends to share terrible commercials like this one for Dewar’s Scotch. It’s the most blatantly sexist video we’ve seen in some time. You don’t even need to watch it; just trust us.
At first glance, it simply appears to be a spot aimed at dim-witted, urban dictionary-proficient frat bros and their cousins in finance (just kidding, econ majors…or are we?!?!).
Yet today travel writer/liquor specialist Fred Minnick provides us with an excellent post explaining why this clip is much more than that. It didn’t just start a “kill this ad” petition from the perfectly named Canadian whiskey expert “WhiskeyLassie“—it could threaten the industry’s ability to advertise its products.
We’ll let Minnick explain why this is a potential PR debacle after the jump.
“With this ad series, Dewar’s may have been in violation of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) “Code of Responsible Practices,” which states: “Beverage alcohol advertising and marketing materials should not degrade the image, form, or status of women, men, or of any ethnic, minority, sexually-oriented, religious, or other group.”
I also fear the Dewar’s ad could have widespread implications that impact responsible whisky advertisers. You may have noticed an increase in radio and television advertisements the past year. That’s because the FTC said liquor advertisements have the same rights as non-distilled alcohol.”
His point is that the newly empowered and de-regulated industry risks suffering a big slap in the face from the FTC if it continues to run awful promos like this one. Some voice skepticism, but Minnick offers some strong supporting evidence.
— FredMinnick (@FredMinnick) December 10, 2013
So what we’re saying is “shame on you, Dewar’s”. Also: follow Minnick on Twitter and buy his book Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey. You’re welcome.
(Ed. note: I had to post on this story because, as the husband of a woman who thoroughly enjoys quality whiskey in place of cheap crap like Dewar’s, I find this commercial particularly annoying and hope very much that it does get banned.)
UPDATE: Looks like Dewar’s has removed the video from YouTube. Maybe someone got the message…