Page last updated at 01:50 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:50 UK

'Take Courage' beer advert banned

Beer advert
The advertising watchdog upheld three complaints about the beer adverts

A poster showing a nervous man alongside the slogan "Take Courage my friend" has been banned for suggesting the beer could boost confidence.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it acknowledged the poster's message was meant to be humorous, but concluded it broke advertising rules.

The campaign aimed to echo the Courage beer adverts of the 1950s to 1980s.

The brewers, Wells & Young's, said the slogan was simply a "call to action" to choose Courage over other beers.

The "Take Courage" slogan was revived earlier this year for a series of posters, one of which showed a man with a pint of beer looking worried, as a woman modelled a figure-hugging dress with its sales tags still attached.

The ASA upheld three complaints from people who argued the image of the man with a glass of beer clearly implied it would give him enough confidence to tell the woman the dress was not flattering.

Infamous line

But Courage's Bedford-based brewers said they believed the poster depicted a scenario many men could relate to and that it did not imply the beer would give the man courage, change his mood or give him confidence.

Chris Lewis, the firm's marketing director, said the company had been "very surprised" by the ASA's decision to ban the advert.

"Our intention through this advertising is to portray humorous everyday occurrences which Courage drinkers can relate to," he said.

"Every man with some life experience has been in the situation where they have been asked the infamous line: 'Does my bum look big in this?' And as every man in Britain knows, the correct response is 'No!'

"It is because this is universally understood that we did not put these words on the poster."

He added that the company had cleared the adverts with relevant industry bodies and had worked closely with the ASA to resolve the issue.

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