Madonna "too old" to corrupt teenagers

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. 

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