THE Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group insists that its Windhoek Lager beer advert that was recently banned by South Africa’s advertising regulator for encouraging toxic masculinity was gravely misunderstood.
The advert, according to South African media, was banned for suggesting that “real men drink real beer”.
The beer brand reportedly did so by having a “gentle looking man” in the ad succumb to the pressure of “macho” movie star, Gerard Butler.
SA’s Advertising Regulatory Board further ruled that by showing a man deciding against having a lime with his beer, Windhoek Lager is entrenching toxic masculinity.
Roux-ché Locke, O&L Group Manager of Corporate Communications said they are saddened by the news.
“Given the sensitivity of this matter, we unfortunately cannot engage at length on this subject at this stage due to ongoing deliberations. However, we do want to state that we are saddened by the knowledge that our advert was negatively received and that we don’t like to hear that our consumers find our content irresponsible or offensive. The message of our advert was meant to convey that Windhoek is a 100% pure beer and doesn’t need a lime to complete it,” she said.
News24 reports that the ad features Butler, who was described in the regulator’s decision as “a macho looking movie star”, remonstrating with a bar patron who asks for a slice of lime with his Windhoek.
The man he takes to task, says the Board, “is a gentle looking, red-headed man – two characteristics that might typically make him a target for teasing in a toxic environment”.
The interaction between the two, the regulator ruled, sends an unavoidable message that is not acceptable in advertising, especially because it does not actually come out and say that real men drink real beer.
“The reality is that it is exactly the unspoken nature of the communication that makes it particularly dangerous – the gender stereotype portrayed as so normal that it does not even require explanation,” said the Advertising Regulatory Board.