Dahon California, Inc. has filed a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority over a Smirnoff Ice poster campaign produced by ad agency JWT for Diageo, owner of the Smirnoff brand name as well as Guiness and many other top booze brands.
Dahon was alerted to the campaign following a story on BikeBiz.com 10 days ago.
The ad campaign uses an image of a Dahon folding bike to show what kind of products aluminium is "wasted on", when it could be made into cans filled with Smirnoff Ice. The poster campaign also features naff aluminium sports trophies.
Dahon is requesting that Diageo withdraw the ads and issue an apology for denigrating bicycles generally and Dahon and folding bicycles specifically.
Joshua Hon, Dahon's vice president of sales and marketing said:
"Diageo and their ad agency JWT are imply that Smirnoff alcopop, with a disposable can that goes immediately into a landfill, is a better use of aluminium than a bicycle, a healthy and non-polluting form of transportation.
"By using a Dahon folding bike for this ad, Diageo discredits our company and the whole bike industry since just about every bicycle made uses aluminium components and an aluminium frame.
"As a company dedicated to promoting environmental responsibility and clean forms of transportation, we feel that this ad campaign causes material harm to our brand and image. We reserve the right to take further legal action and our US legal office is investigating the case.”