So at this point I'm just going to say that the ASA found that there was no case to proceed, and I'll write more when they release the decision to the media (at which point it will also be online).
In the meantime I need to decide whether or not to make an appeal. I've got a couple of days to do that, and ultimately whether or not I do write to them for a fourth time will depend mostly on how much time I have to pen something before the deadline. Who knew having a baby would interfere so much with blogging?!
In regard to the most recent response from Gerard Vaughan (CEO of ALAC) which I blogged about last week, my initial response was very similar to commenter tussock, who wrote:
So, their logic is as follows.To whit; ALAC are using women's fear of rape, which it's pretty safe to assume is not a fear only found in the target demographic, in a cynical and calculated manner, regardless of how it might impact on women who have been raped who are viewing the ad, or indeed societal attitudes towards women who are raped when they have been drinking. Either that or ALAC just don't get the simple research principles about correlation and causation.
1: Some women binge drink, particularly single women from 25-40. They're being paid to reduce the incidence of that.
2: Women fear being raped.
3: If they make the entirely false connection that binge drinking women are natural targets for rapists, women will fear binge drinking.
4: It worked, so they fulfilled the terms of their contract.
I found this thought so repugnant and so wrong that I thought I must surely be reading Vaughan's response incorrectly, in some paranoid hyper-feminist manner. I turned my mind away from it because it is a bit too hard to think that an agency charged with educating people about safer drinking behaviour could be so oblivious to the harm they might do in other areas with their social advertising. So to have tussock pick up on it too, well I'm starting to wonder if maybe I was overly paranoid about being paranoid.
What do you think, dear readers?
Finally, a post from Lita on this whole fandango, which I'm pretty sure I hadn't linked earlier (sorry Lita).