Spar recently released an alcohol advertisement for their Tops Liquor Store, wherein they stated: “Grab a drink and show off those PJ POWERS”.

Spar received numerous complaints about the use of “PJ POWERS” in conjunction with the alcohol advertisement.

PJ Powers, is a famous South African musician, who last year openly discussed her alcohol addiction in her autobiography.

Spar has since released an apology on its Facebook page stating:

“Those who were offended by our message. The line was used as a play on words to refer to the Pyjama Party theme for the month of June. The theme is linked to the message from our Minister of Parties and Recreation: “No slumber, only party!” We never intended to offend anyone and sincerely apologise.”

If the advertisement was not removed for whatever reason, any member of the public, including PJ Powers herself, could lodge a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA allows for certain satire, parody and humour in advertisements, stating that “obvious untruths, harmless parody or exaggerations, intended to catch the eye or amuse, are permissible provided that they are clearly to be seen as humorous …”. Many complaints have been lodged against the likes of Nandos and the above defence has been utilised and has succeeded. However, in this case I would believe that the advertisement was “disparaging” and “offensive”.

Moore Attorneys are specialists in lodging and defending advertising complaints with the ASA. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact them on .

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