Cheers! The Wonderful World Of Beer Advertising

A collection of beautiful, outrageous and frankly baffling print adverts for beer from around the world.

Beer advertising today is a tricky minefield of legislation, self-styled authorities and ever-changing tastes, where offence can be taken at the merest suggestion of bad taste, sexism or the suggestion that drinking alcohol might be in any way a pleasurable experience. Things were much simpler in the past (which, these days, can be as little as five years ago), when companies could plaster their ads with innuendo, scantily-clad women and somewhat dubious claims of health benefits – though these claims are perhaps no more exaggerated than the current hysterical suggestions that a single pint is the first step on the road to ruin (especially if you are a woman – the modern beer censors being no less sexist than the previous generations who also considered beer drinking a strictly male pursuit).

In the defence of advertisers, some of these ads were designed to specifically run in magazines like Playboy – back when mainstream businesses still advertised in men’s magazines – and others were aimed at being deliberately button-pushing in a world where it is increasingly hard to stand out. Getting your ad banned or simply causing outrage amongst the professionally upset is certainly a way of getting your name out there, though of course, it is always a gamble – will a boycott led by the shouty folks of Twitter result in more sales or less?

What most of these ads have in common is the fact that they would probably fall foul of one or more ‘rules’ regarding alcohol advertising, which prohibit the suggestion that drinking might make you more sexually successful, confident, popular or happy in any way, despite all the evidence that it does just that, even if only on a temporary level. This is, of course, a mere smattering of what is out there, but seems a good mix of the artistically gorgeous, the pop-culture referencing, the humorous, the celebrity-driven (look out for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls legend Cynthia Myers, Fred Williamson and Carole Landis!) and the lecherous.

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