Can't quite decide whether the ad that ran in yesterday's papers from the alcohol industry's self-regulation lobby The Portman Group is brilliant subversion or not. I think on balance it is brilliant subversion.
The ad is half a page (the picture left is from Tuesday's Telegraph) warning people of the sort of drinks promotions that are not allowed: featuring drinkers under 25, encouraging binge drinking, highlighting alcohol's impact on "romantic" success, even revealing the biochemical fact that alcohol affects your mood. (This is perhaps the most remarkable feature of the UK's code of practice for advertising alcohol, that it specifically prohibits the statement of a well-established scientific fact.)
The Portman Group pitches this as a "zero tolerance campaign" against the irresponsible marketing of alcohol. A cynical man might point out that what they have so far achieved with their campaign is to get a half-page ad into several national papers featuring a cute young student peering coyly over a large glass of wine. Nor sure why but I suddenly fancy one too.
Up next week - McDonalds to become the new sponsor of Sesame Street with a disclaimer "just by way of example, to show how this sort of this is totally not acceptable" and Benson & Hedges product placement in Blue Peter under a banner that flashes "I can't believe we're getting away with this shit".