New Zealand’s advertising watchdog says it does not have the power to prevent a company from naming its product Cocaine.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it could not act on complaints because New Zealand law made it permissable to name a product after the drug.

The authority was responding to a complaint about an outdoor ad for Cocaine Energy drink, which read: “Warning: This message is for people who are too stupid to recognize the obvious. This product does not contain the drug cocaine (duh). This product is not intended to be an alternative to an illicit street drug, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.”

Complainant R. Davidson said: “Is it really appropriate that a dangerous, addictive and illegal drug should be used to promote a product to anyone, let alone the target high school to twenties demographic? My worry is a softening of attitudes by stealth – habituation by exposure.”

Responding, the ASA Complaints Board chairman ruled that there were no grounds to proceed.

Source: Advertising Standards Association

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