Subscribe » Issue #50, Mar-Apr 2014 Mag Cover
Idealog—in the ideas business

‘Swap a Ginger’ ad raises watchdog’s ire

Remember that Hakanoa Ginger Beer ad calling for parents to swap their red-haired kids for a six pack of ginger beer? The Advertising Standards Authority has deemed the posters socially irresponsible and discriminatory.

"Let's be honest; no one really wants a ginger," the ad read. "So if you've got one, bring it in and we'll swap it for something you really want, a delicious six pack of Hakanoa Ginger Beer." It also showed a woman merrily swigging from a ginger beer bottle while a red-haired child was left standing outside a dairy in the background.

As Kaleb Francis wrote back in August, the campaign backfired pretty spectacularly and has tones of Marc Ellis circa 2005.

The ASA ruled the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and singled out red-headed children for ridicule.

hakanoa ginger beer red hair ad ruled offensive

Share this on


O gawd, we need less complaining and more laughing. At each other and at ourselves. You know how good it feels to have a maniacal belly laugh, tears streaming down your cheeks? Our society needs more of that stuff.

/Next time my ginger feline carries a (live) rat into the house I'm going to threaten him with a trade-in.

Yup i pretty much agree. I like a laugh as much as the next person but my expanded definition of “racism” is to ridicule anything about a person or persons that they cannot change.
This pretty much fits the bill.

Richard, according to that logic it's okay to ridicule people for things they can change. Like fatties…

No one likes to be singled out and humiliated, that's why we need to ridicule everyone equally.

Equality for all! :)

Tagged as