Drinks ads portray ‘toxic’ masculinity

21st May, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Alcohol brands “need to rethink” how they market to men, with adverts portraying “old fashioned” and “toxic” views of masculinity, according to a new study.

Alcohol brands must “rethink” how they market to men, according to a survey

A survey of 2,000 UK adults by New Macho, the specialist men’s marketing arm of brand agency BBD Perfect Storm, found that when buying products, men are almost twice as likely as women to think about what the brand name or label says about them.

The research asked men to what extent certain key FMCG brands reflect their attitudes and values.

The study noted that when it comes to alcohol, brands “need to rethink” their marketing to men. “Many old fashioned, dated and perhaps toxic views of masculinity are still prevalent among British males, thanks in part to the stereotypes seen in advertising,” the survey claimed.

Nearly half of men (48%) feel that Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky doesn’t reflect them at all, while 54% feel the same about Gordon’s Gin.

Meanwhile, 43% of men say Absolut Vodka doesn’t have the same values, while 43% think that way about Bacardi rum.

When it comes to beer, 46% of men feel that Guinness doesn’t reflect them at all, and 47% feel the same about Heineken.

The study also found that 49% of men feel Diet Coke doesn’t have the same values.

The survey also revealed that a quarter of males (25%) still believe the view that ‘real men don’t crack under pressure’ – rising to 37% among millennials and 41% of Londoners. In addition, one in seven UK males (14%) think that ‘real men don’t cry’, rising to 27% of those in London.

New Macho managing director Fernando Desouches said: “The groups that are most likely to hold these stereotyped views of masculinity – Londoners, millennials and high earners – are also the most likely to feel depressed or sad.

“More than half of these groups most often feel that way, so these beliefs may be having a very real and negative impact on men’s mental health.

“The ad industry has to accept some of the blame for this, as many food and drink brands are still portraying men either as aloof and hyper-competitive or as dorks and figures of fun.

“It’s all just gender stereotyping, which the Advertising Standards Authority is rightly working to eradicate.”

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