Boycott warning as Beechies glamourises casual sex, drunkenness

[notice]Family Policy Institute(FPI) threatens national boycott campaign unless Beechies withdraws offensive ads[/notice]

Christian organisations have reacted strongly to a Beechies chewing gum advertising campaign based on real stories that glamourise drunkenness and casual sex.

The campaign, which is aimed at South African youth, first came to the attention of Gateway News when Africa Christian Action (ACA) sent us a media statement yesterday (Wednesday, April 6) about a Beechies television advertisement featuring young men at a strip joint, which it said glamourised drunken debauchery and the exploitation of women.

The TV ad, broadcast between 8pm and 9.30pm on SABC channels and ETV depicts a group of young men visiting a strip joint during a night of debauchery, says the statement. “One of the strippers turns out to be the girlfriend of the male narrating the story. The punchline of the advert says ‘some things are too good not to share’

“Are Beechies saying that women should be shared like a story, or worse, like a piece of gum? Not only is this advert glamorising drunken debauchery, but it is condoning an industry that promotes sexual immorality and the objectification and exploitation of women. Most strip joints are fronts for brothels and many enslave women and are involved in trafficking,” says ACA.

Boycott warning

Meanwhile Errol Naidoo, Director of the FPI, has written a letter to Richard Papo, Marketing Manager of Natela Importers, who distribute Beechies in South Africa. In the letter Naidoo requests the company to “immediately cancel its harmful and derogatory advertising campaign and remove all images from the electronic and print media that promotes the sexual degradation of women, drunkenness, debauchery and casual sex”.

“Should you fail to respond to my legitimate concerns within five days I will have no option but to launch a nationwide boycott of all Beechies products. I can assure you this action if necessary will have long term negative consequences for your company and the Beechies brand,” the letter says.

Naidoo says: “South Africa has some of the world’s highest statistics of sexual abuse of women and children including spiraling rates of drunkenness amongst our youth. The Beechies ad campaign adds fuel to the fire by glamourizing behaviour that is currently decimating South African society.” He points out that the FPI works to inform, educate and equip the greater Christian community in South Africa about matters of public policy and media issues that concern family values.

Gateway News has asked Natela Importers to comment on the ACA and FPI complaints. Papo said today that their advertising agency, Hello World, was drafting a response.

According to the Beechies website the company invites visitors to submit their favourite or most embarrassing personal stories — “stories which are too good not to share” — with the prospect that their stories might become Beechies’ next print, billboard or TV ad or earn big competition prizes including a car. The current “top ten” stories and latest stories are featured on the website. Casual sex and drunkenness are a recurring theme in the stories. The top ten stories are illustrated with pictures of scantily clad people and include such headlines as “He thought I was my sister, so we had phone sex”, “I got picked up by a guy in a bar last night and woke up with two in my bed” and “I woke up not sure whose dog I had been making out with”.

Describing Beechies new “Too Good Not To Share” campaign before it was released to MTV in November, prior to its mainstream release this year, Papo said: “Capturing the interest of the brand in the minds of our desired market is not going to take what’s expected, but rather what’s right. The youth are after something fresh and innovative to captivate them and we are confident that this campaign will do just that.”

A Beechies Facebook page, Twitter profile and mobi site have also been developed to support the “Too Good Not To Share” campaign. There is also a second TV ad which features a young man skinny dipping with his girlfriend then making a nude getaway on his scooter when her parents unexpectedly arrive home.

12 Comments

  1. wow guys, i just visited the website and facebook group to check it out and this article is totally legit!!

    as a young man in port elizabeth, this really does break my heart, yoh

  2. This campaign only encourages the degradation of moral values in our society. The campaign draws negative attention and encourages immoral and sexual behaviour, making it acceptable and normal. How can this be? How can a corporate like Beechies not pull an advertising campaign like this? Let’s not associate ourselves with a product or a company that promotes the moral degradation of our society! What has happened to corporate social responsibility? Are we going to allowing an advertising campaign like this one too encroach on our value system?

  3. Having visited the website myself, I concur with the sentiments expressed by Gateway News and the various other Christian organisations that are quoted in the article. For me however, these sentiments are rendered less effective by the threats of “boycott” action. Surely it is sufficient to voice ones opinion without it seeming we are all from the “lunatic fringe”, thus ensuring that our opinion are ignored. The points made are valid from just about any perspective, including our constitution. Of course I am not going to allow an advertising campaign like this one to encrouch on my value system, but if I start boycotts, where will I draw the line? Beechies would still get the message.

    • I totally, even if we boycotte how will we make a impact if we act like the world, on the other hand, our children are the ones suffering, you cant always be there to watch, coach and look out for them. Even if you instill Godly principles, the world has its own way of creeping into the minds of the young! Surely there must be other ways of banning this IMPOSER!

  4. This is where it begins. Gently. slowly, gradually they infiltrate the minds of our youth and society. Programming them to accept the degradation of moral values with women and child abuse at the very forefront. We are most certainly going to stand up against this and in our church we will most certainly preach against it! 17 April 2011 we have a presentation addressing Women & Child Abuse at El-Shammah Ministries, cnr Churchill and Randleigh Streets, Primrose.Contact 072 483 4595 –
    Stephanie. I promise you this issue will be mentioned and we will call for a nationwide boycott starting with our members. Keep up the good work family.

  5. South Africa is so ripe for judgement it is not even funny. Let us be found in the Lord when it inevitably comes. Anyone remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? As for the boycotting, I don’t believe any christian should be emotionally black mailed into doing something by fellow christians. I am not condoning the advert, I am just asking that if you support the action by boycotting then do it with a clear conscience, not because someone told you to. We are in the world, not of it. Mike, I think you hit the nail on the head with your comments but finding that balance is difficult. I don’t watch sufficient TV to even know about the advert as I don’t want my children exposed to the rampant consumerisim being pushed. I do thank those that make us aware of these things but I think we need to validate our objections to such things with scriptural reference so that those who read these articles have references they can go read, thereby putting them where they need to be, in the Word of God. Just a thought 🙂

  6. Another perspective might be why young adults have these types of stories to share? Is this an indication of a failing in advertising standards or is it an indication of a degrading family system? I am incline to think the latter. Threats without action (boycotting) make the Christian faith look impotent. Let us be careful of the threats we make unless we are able to execute them and always bear in mind that the outcome is always in the Lord’s hands, not ours. I think our first step should always be to commit these things to prayer that our actions might be from God as opposed to our worldly pride.

  7. Eish, sorry everyone. Perhaps the best way to show our disapproval of this campaign is to go and share our stories of salvation, rebirth and witness, after all, these stories are to good not to share surely?

  8. No man, seriously – what kind of advert – offending anyone – should be allowed? The numbers have spoken. Remove the campaign! Morals are what separates us from animals!

  9. Has anyone watched the movie “Idiocracy”? Is this where we’re headed?

  10. So sad! We have recently claimed victory after 2 long years with pornography and sex chat lines in my teenage son’s life and it started with a simple ad in a newspaper! We can never underestimate the plans of satan and that is to steal, rob and destroy….nothing less. We have no choice but to resist the devil so that he WILL flee – how you resist him is up to you, but as a parent it is my duty to resist him on behalf of my children – so being vocal in my disapproval of advertising rubbish and joining the boycott is the least I can do! Vered and Richard will also be added to my salvation prayer list from today!