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Wednesday, 6 August 2003


AdAge reports that the makers of ABSOLUT vodka have been indulging in a bit of product placement. A poster depicting a seemingly naked man with only a strategically placed vodka bottle to protect his modesty and with the slogan “Absolut Hunk” has appeared in Sex and the City, a popular television programme, with Absolut’s cooperation as part of a plot line in which one of the main characters secures a modelling commission for her boyfriend. The ad was actually posted at a New York bus stop, although in the programme it was digitally “moved” to Times Square. Though the ad was shot by the photographer responsible for the real ABSOLUT campaign, Absolut has said that they will not be running the ad. According to their vice-president of marketing: "It is not exactly consistent with the campaign, not to mention a bit salacious." Nevertheless, it is producing recipe cards for the Absolut Hunk cocktail.

Aside from the niceties of whether trade mark use has taken place, the IPKat is concerned. By associating its ABSOLUT mark and campaign with overt sexual imagery, Absolut has arguably tarnished its own mark, in which case its taking moral high ground in opposing third parties from registering such domain names as,, and seems just a tad two-faced.

Recipe for Absolut Hunk (the cocktail that is) here
ABSOLUT parodies here and here
Real ABSOLUT ads here

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