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Windhoek ad called out for suggesting toxic masculinity

South Africa's Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has asked for the removal of an advertisement for Windhoek beer on the basis that it entrenches toxic masculinity in suggesting that "real men drink real beer".
Source: YouTube

The advertisement, which features actor Gerard Butler, opens in a bar, initially feeling like many traditional beer commercials. However, the mood changes when a character called Joe asks the waiter for a piece of lime to add to his beer.

Source: YouTube

According to Business Insider South Africa, Joe "is a gentle looking, red-headed man – two characteristics that might typically make him a target for teasing in a toxic environment".

Gerard Butler is seated at the bar and says,
Hey! That's a Windhoek. That's 100% pure beer. You don't need any lime. See for yourself.
Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

Joe then takes a sip of the beer - without lime - and clearly enjoys it.

Source: YouTube

TimesLive reports that Aadila Agjee lodged a complaint against Heineken South Africa on its marketing of Windhoek Lager. Agjee says the commercial is offensive in that “It belittles a man for requesting a lime slice with his beer.”

The complaint states as follows, “The advertisement featuring Gérard Butler is offensive. It belittles a man for requesting a lime slice with his beer. While this may seem funny to many, an equal or larger number of people enjoy citrus with their beer or cider - popularly linked with women having a lime or lemon slice with their cider. I understand the message that Windhoek beer is complete on its own, however, shaming or belittling people for their personal preferences is not ok.

Source: YouTube

"Rather try to attract all customers instead of being stupidly restrictive and offending a whole range of potential customers. At least no-one gets a celebrity to insult my Heineken or Savannah with lemon or lime slice....”

“Gender stereotyping or negative gender portrayal must not be permitted in advertising, unless in the opinion of the ARB, such stereotyping or portrayal is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom,” states the ARB.

Heineken was instructed to withdraw or amend the commercial.

See the full ruling issued by the ARB.
Comment
anonymoose
What a pathetic state of affairs!
Posted on 22 Jan 2021 14:37
Anonymous
Our country focuses too much on political correctness and not justice or redress. This is just an advert.
Posted on 22 Jan 2021 15:54
Lizette Vilonel
What utter nonsense! Real men drink real beer is a marketing slogan. The whimps that feel offended is obviously not real men and should stay with their coolaid. What is a toxic male? There is no such thing. A made up narative by the nutty whimpy left. Real heterosexual men is in these adds. And we LOVE them!
Posted on 22 Jan 2021 16:29
Anonymous
Ridiculous! This is a dig at Corona Beer. People normally normally have a slice of lemon or lime with that beer. Nothing about masculinity. Some people just love attention
Posted on 23 Jan 2021 11:07
Anonymous
The plight of the offended snowflake, has even sullied Windhoek now...... ??
Posted on 23 Jan 2021 21:39
Anonymous
This is not offensive unless you are sensitive and so emotionally immature that you care what others think about the way you order your drink. Please grow up.
Posted on 24 Jan 2021 07:52
Anonymous
One person in the world sees this as a threat to his masculinity and all of a sudden everyone must jump because of it... what has happened to this world? For real!!
Posted on 24 Jan 2021 11:10
Anonymous
Everybody has become so sensitive in our days, you can't even speak an honest truth anymore without offending somebody. Everything needs to be watered down, we are slowly becoming a society of softies. There's nothing offensive about this ad, Windhoek is Pure beer and does not need lemon for crying out loud.
Posted on 25 Jan 2021 10:51
Anonymous
Seriously, I think there are more important issues to deal with than a beer commercial!
Posted on 25 Jan 2021 11:22
Anonymous
Sad that a regulatory body such as ARB has the power to take down an ad. The comments below show just how out of touch they are with reality. You will always get insecure individuals who want to be heard (or maybe are associated with a large competitor?) but ARB should be more discerning and mature.
Posted on 25 Jan 2021 14:22
Maluda Machado
3000% agree.
Posted on 28 Jan 2021 12:20

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