Charlie's put the squeeze on the
Advertising Standards Authority

All publicity is not necessarily good publicity. However, sometimes controversy can create fantastic coverage for your brand, especially if your stance reinforces your brand or company's values.

Charlie's premium beverage company is well known, not just for its great orange juice and other drinks , but also for its humorous advertising campaigns and slightly irreverent, Kiwi joker brand personality.

Charlie's Soda Co. launched last year, with a humorous cartoon themed advertising campaign. However, despite the ads being approved by the Television Viewers Bureau, the Advertising Standards Authority banned it after complaints from a very small number of viewers.

Charlie's had invested a substantial amount of money in its advertising creative and wasn't prepared to take the ban lying down. They immediately responded to the media, sticking up for the irreverent humour and bringing attention to the double standards between programming and advertising.

In the words of Marc Ellis, "We need to look closely at the absurd and confused regulations which can see an ad approved for television and then subsequently have that approval withdrawn because just eight out us four million New Zealanders have complained. Not only does this decision have a big economic cost to Charlie's but it allows an embittered bunch of naysayers to dictate terms to everyone else."

So what was the outcome from this response? The opportunity for Marc Ellis to argue the Charlie's corner on Close Up in a debate with the Advertising Standards Authority, significant positive press coverage in the daily papers, a explosion in the number of people viewing the Charlie's Soda Co ad on You Tube and reinforcement of Charlie's as a down to earth, Kiwi joker brand.