Sunday, July 31, 2005

Remotely Attractive Need Not Apply

The code of the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority now requires alcohol companies to use "clearly unattractive" men in their advertisements. In a recent adjudication, the Authority applied this rule to an advertisement for a drink called Lambrini. The Authority objected to a picture of three women with a slim, young man:


We would advise that the man in the picture should be unattractive - ie overweight, middle-aged, balding etc. In its current form we consider that the ad is in danger of implying that the drink may bring sexual/social success, because the man in question looks quite attractive and desirable to the girls. If the man was clearly unattractive, we think that this implication would be removed from the ad.


Thus, to avoid the wrath of the Authority, alcohol companies are now on notice that, before hiring a man to be in advertisement, they must ensure that he is "clearly unattractive."

I tried to imagine this standard being litigated:

The Authority acknowledges the testimony of the 53 female witnesses that the gentleman in the advertisement is "grotesque", "repugnant," "unsightly", "vile", "homely", "hideous" and "so unappealing as to induce spontaneous retching." The Authority found particularly compelling the testimony of the woman who has
commenced psychological therapy to cope with the image of the gentleman's furry cysts. Nonetheless, in light of the blind woman's testimony that she might consider fornicating with the gentleman for $5,000,000, the Authority cannot conclude that he is clearly unattractive.


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I love this blogger.

Most disturbing to me in this article is the implication that "balding" is a critical ingredient of an unattractive male. I suppose I will continue to dream that, in a far better world in the future, the pundits of perfection will see "baldness" as a characteristic not correlated at all with beauty.

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