Home > News > Beer Ads Humbled by Indecency Probe • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Beer Ads Humbled by Indecency Probe

Get XBIZ News
May 6, 2004 10:55 AM PDT    Text size: 
ST. LOUIS – The far-reaching implications of the Federal Communications Commission indecency probe, set off by Howard Stern, rock star Bono, and Janet Jackson, is beginning to take effect on the advertising world, which until recently has had carte blanche in the creativity department when it comes to selling any number of products including cars, women's lingerie, and beer.

In a surprise concession to the federal government's new view on all things deemed "indecent," which includes reference to sexual or excretory functions, many of the nation's top advertising agencies are joining television networks and radio outlets by taking a more humble, low-key approach to national ad campaigns.

Similar to other media organizations, ad agencies are feeling a particular kind of heat, especially as it concerns creating original, attention-grabbing ad spots that both entertain consumers and create brand awareness, while at the same time remaining within the FCC's sometimes murky guidelines for indecency.

Anheuser-Busch announced last week that it will tone down its Budweiser and Bud Light ads for next year's Super Bowl, which typically are some of the most heavily watched ad spots of the entire year, and also sometimes the funniest and raunchiest.

In the immediate aftermath of the Janet Jackson halftime incident, Anheuser-Busch pulled two of its popular ad campaigns launched this year, one which featured a horse farting on a couple in a carriage, and a dog biting a man's crotch.

The beer maker's decision came down from company CEO August Busch IV, who told his top ad agency executives that his company will keep itself in check in the coming year, to avoid alienating its consumer base.

Similarly, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. has pulled an advertising spot that featured a cat being beheaded by a car sunroof, and Victoria's Secret cancelled its televised fashion show that has been the subject of criticism over its flagrant softcore sexuality. Sub sandwich maker Quiznos, which several months ago pulled its sponge monkey campaign because of alleged sexual overtones, pulled another ad campaign in which a man was suckling a wolf's teat.

A spokesperson for Quiznos said it never intended its marketing strategy to be offensive, and that the Super Bowl incident has not changed their advertising strategy.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently proposed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, which would give the FCC the authority to raise fines against a performer from $11,000 to $500,000.

A March 18 airing of the Oprah Winfrey show is the latest indecency debaucle to concern the FCC, which has so far received an estimated 1,600 complaint letters over an Oprah show in which graphic sexual acts and terminology were discussed.

The FCC has not yet stated whether it will pull the show from airing in syndication.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

LEGAL PERSPECTIVES

The Skinny on the New DMCA Requirement

The requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have changed, but the sky is not falling. We have, even as a law firm, been hit with an unbelievable amount of spam sent out by law firms... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »

Fraudulent Brazilian Trademark Registrations Running Rampant

Although you might not think often about protecting your trademark rights in Brazil, you need to — even if you don’t yet have a single Brazilian customer. Scammers are constantly looking for... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The European Summit

Mar 04 - Mar 07
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The TEA Show

Mar 05 - Mar 06
Hollywood, CA

Phoenix Forum 2017

Mar 23 - Mar 26
Tempe, Arizona

EXXXOTICA Denver

Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!