US: Bacardi pulls Dewar's ad after "sexist" charge

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Bacardi has taken down an online advert for its Dewar's Scotch whisky brand after a backlash from viewers who branded the spot “sexist”. 


The ad, part of Dewar's US unit's wider 'Drinking Man's Scotch' campaign, featured a character called 'The Baron', who is portrayed as someone who helps out a friend in need. One scene, in a bar, features an eager-looking overweight woman walking towards the Baron's friend, but the Baron steps in.

A voiceover says: “On the battle field, he wouldn’t just take a bullet for you; he’d be the one throwing himself on the explosives.”

The Baron and his friend end up with a group of "Swedish bikini models" in the bar. 

However, the ad, launched this week, attracted a number of critics and prompted an online petition. The petition, which attraced 52 signatures, urged people to sign it to “stop this type of antiquated, sexist and terrible advertising in whisky”.

One commenter said: “The fact that Dewars would aim such a campaign at men offends me. Why would this speak to me? Does Dewars think I'm a sexist jerk?”

Whisk(e)y blogger Fred Minnick also criticised the campaign

Bacardi responded to the criticism and late yesterday removed the ad from YouTube. In a statement, the company said: “While we strive to be inclusive of many demographics, we have a wide array of consumers who respond to a variety of unique and focused marketing messages, in different ways.

“The Baron represents a camaraderie that is important to our target consumer, and is one character under ‘The Drinking Man’s Scotch’ campaign, which features a strong and successful female icon as the spokesperson for the brand. 

“We understand our promotions may not always appeal to everyone; however, it is your feedback that allows us to continuously evaluate our marketing efforts – upon further review we have decided to remove the video from our YouTube page.”

Press play, below, to view the ad.

DEWAR'S: The Baron from Nicholas Paget on Vimeo.

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