The spot, called "filter the unnecessary" was created by 72andSunny, Amsterdam, and shows how someone enters a seriously pretentious bar where all the hepcats give them the stare-down, and they have to make their way to the bar past overgrown moustaches and necklace wearing fashionistas. Once the bar is reached, it topples, pouring out the ice poodle, the bearded bartender, the pretentious fashionable people, and instead lets in light, a cute DJ who starts the music, and smiling patrons who turn to welcome "you" into the fold, as this is all shot in p.o.v.
The complaint was, that the alcohol was needed in order to have fun at the bar. The ASA said:
"We considered the ad's presentation implied that before the visitor asked for an alcoholic drink, the bar was cold and uninviting and that once his drink had been ordered, the bar changed and became livelier and more fun. We considered the contrast between the two implied it was the presence of the alcohol that was the pivotal point in the bar's transformation."
Julie Bramham, the marketing director at Smirnoff, said the company will be appealing the decision and is "deeply disappointed" with the ASA’s adjudication.
"We believe the advert clearly showed two scenarios that were separated by a physical change of the bar symbolising the ‘filtering’ of unnecessary pretentiousness, and not by the presence of alcohol. Pre-approval was granted by Clearcast and we will await the decision of the ASA’s appeal process."