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Nov 23, 2014

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Molson ads don't amuse everybody

Brewing company says 'friends' campaign stricly tongue-in-cheek

July 31, 2004 - Two advocacy organizations have attacked Molson beer ads they say encourage men to deceive and seduce women. The Marin Institute and Dads and Daughters both criticized Molson USA's latest "friends" campaign that defines "friends" as casual sex partners and gives guys tips on seducing women.

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The "friends" online campaign includes fake business cards, wallet photos and stickers to help men seem more successful and sensitive, the advocacy groups said in a press release. One ad tells guys: "Buy some hottie a Molson" and use a fake photo of your puppy to "start a conversation that really goes somewhere."

"It's making up an identity, a facade, on the premise that women are stupid enough to fall for that," said Joe Kelly, president of Dads and Daughters. "[You] get anybody drunk enough and it's easier to deceive them," Kelly said.

Kelly asked whether the Molson USA executives would want the ads targeted at their children. "Do they want their daughters to be lied to and manipulated and gotten drunk so they can be sexually assaulted by somebody who has no interest in their daughters other than to 'conquer' them? Is this what they teach their sons?" said Kelly.

The "friends" campaign is currently running on the World Wide Web and in several young men's magazines (FHM, Stuff). Related billboard ads already have established that the difference between friends and "friends" is sex.

A representative of Molson USA said that the critics were "trying to add a level of seriousness into something that really is not there."

"We would never, ever advocate tricking anybody about anything," said Bob Wheatley, a spokesman for Molson USA. "This is tongue firmly planted in cheek."

Wheatley said that Molson USA had not received any other complaints and did not plan on stopping the ad campaign prematurely. He said the ads were tested and well-received by focus groups, including women. "It's all about humor. They get it, too," he said.


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