Complaints upheld for Leeds clubnight’s publicity

Mezz Bar.
Mezz Bar.
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A controversial Leeds clubnight aimed at students has been warned about its irresponsible advertising.

Six out of seven complaints made by Leeds City Council’s licensing department over the Tequila UK clubnight have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The popular student night was previously held at Mezz bar on Assembly Street in Leeds city centre before the bar shut its doors back in November last year.

The council’s complaint concerned content published on Facebook, Twitter and Tequila UK’s website, as well as three videos on YouTube.

Leeds City Council submitted concerns to the ASA that a selection of the advertisements and footage:

* contained nudity, sexually suggestive language and imagery and profanity;

* were irresponsible because they could be viewed by those aged under 18;

* implied, condoned or encouraged excessive consumption of alcohol and featured alcohol being handled or served irresponsibly;

* linked alcohol with seduction, sexual activity or sexual success;

* implied that drinking alcohol was a key component of the success of a social event and;

* showed people drinking alcohol or playing a significant role in the advertising who appeared to be under the age of 25.

The ASA upheld all of the above complaints.

However they did not uphold the challenge made by the council that the advertisements in question were “irresponsible, offensive or harmful, because they were sexist and promoted misogyny and the objectification of women”.

The recent ASA ruling now means that the advertisements and videos concerned must not appear again in their current form.

Councillor Graham Hyde spoke about the Mezz bar issue in his role as acting chair of Leeds City Council’s licensing committee.

He said: “We are pleased that the ASA has sought fit to agree with our complaints regarding this irresponsible advertising and has ruled that these adverts must never be displayed in public again.”

Coun Hyde added: “This ruling should serve as a warning to other clubnight organisers that we will take action if we feel that the public is being subjected to offensive and harmful advertising in our city.”

A review of the Mezz bars premises licence was also submitted by West Yorkshire Police after a large number of complaints were made to them last year.

The venue’s licence was suspended for three months following the incident.


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