Madonna "too old" to corrupt teenagers

17 August, 2012

Diageo has dodged a rap on the knuckles over a Smirnoff ad featuring Madonna that was accused of appealing to minors. The company successfully argued the Material Girl is too old to appeal to teenagers. 

The TV ad promoted a competition to win VIP passes to a Madonna tour in association with the vodka brand. 

The voice-over for the ad stated: “Last November Smirnoff gave 11 dancers a chance to compete for a spot on Madonna’s next tour. Now you can be there too. Get the Smirnoff limited-edition pack and you could win VIP access to Madonna’s next tour, Madonna’s MDNA, available now everywhere.”

A complainant called the ad “harmful and irresponsible” because he believed it would appeal to under-18s, and the Advertising Standards Authority investigated his grievance. 

But Diageo said it did not believe that Madonna had a “strong appeal” to under-18s, because she is a “53-year-old performing artist” with a fan base “predominantly made up of music lovers from the 1980s and 1990s”. 

Diageo provided evidence commissioned this year showing just 4.7% of 12 to 17-year-olds in the UK are Madonna fans. 

The ASA agreed, the complaint was not upheld and no further action will be taken. 

Bookmark this

Site Search


English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

Click for more »
Upcoming events


Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know