Latest Patron Slapped by Industry Group for Sexy Ad Imagery

Patron Slapped by Industry Group for Sexy Ad Imagery
Submitted by Tequila.net     March 30, 2007    
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Tequila Brand Cited by Discus for Three Complaints

Patron Tequila cited for complaintsCHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Perhaps the hottest spirits brand going right now, Patron Tequila, is being slapped by the spirits industry's governing body for using sex to fuel its surging sales.
Patron, which saw its sales double last year, was the report's most-cited advertiser, drawing complaints for three different ads and, in each case, having the complaints against it validated by the Discus board.
Patron, which saw its sales double last year, was the report's most-cited advertiser, drawing complaints for three different ads and, in each case, having the complaints against it validated by the Discus board.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. released its semi-annual marketing code report yesterday, in which it disclosed the outcome of its reviews of every marketing complaint it received during the second half of 2006.

High rate of compliance
The industry generally gets a high rate of compliance with its marketing code, in part because its good behavior in recent years has helped the industry gain access to cable TV and other channels that were traditionally closed to liquor advertisers.

Patron, which saw its sales double last year, was the report's most-cited advertiser, drawing complaints for three different ads and, in each case, having the complaints against it validated by the Discus board.

"The idea behind the Patron Tequila 'Simply Perfect' campaign has always been to fuel debate about what is 'perfect,'" Patron's chief operating officer, John McDonald, said in a written statement responding to questions. "Of course, as supporters of responsible advertising, when these three ads were called into question, we cooperated fully and immediately took responsive action."

Two of the three complaints centered on the distiller's "Simply Perfect" ad campaign, which pointed out that some types of perfection are debatable, but others, such as Patron, are not. In one of the ads , a couple lay in bed. Over the man's head, a caption read: "The perfect girl." Over the woman's: "The perfect one-night stand."

Alcohol and sexual prowess
"After careful deliberation ... the depiction of a man and a woman in bed with an open bottle of tequila at the foot of the bed, and clothes and undergarments strewn on the floor in front of the bed linked the consumption of alcohol to sexual prowess," the decision read.

According to the report, Patron immediately withdrew the ad after Discus' decision, even though it is not a member of the organization. It also withdrew another "Simply Perfect" ad, which showed two women in a nightclub setting captioned "battery operated" and "the real thing" after board ruled the ad connoted "overt sexual activity."

Patron received a third citation, along with Hennessy Very Special Cognac, for advertising in the newsstand edition of Spin magazine that did not meet the industry's standards of having an audience of at least 70% drinking-age readers. Both advertisers agreed not to advertise in Spin's newsstand edition going forward.

Another sort of youth-marketing mishap came courtesy of Margarita King, which portrayed a woman sipping the tequila-based cocktail from a baby's bottle under the tagline "Sip Maturely." The marketer, a non-Discus member, pulled the bottle from future spots at the board's urging.

But not all the cited marketers were as compliant.

Source:
AdvertisingAge
By Jeremy Mullman

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