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"Just a kid? So take a 750ml". That's how a South African brewery is advertising large bottles of Carling Black Label for the World Cup.

The billboards in Cape Town sparked a number of complaints by alcohol awareness groups, one of which condemned South African Breweries (SAB), the company behind the ad, for "irresponsibly linking excessive drinking with masculinity and being a man". Requests were made to the Advertising Standards Authority to have the campaign withdrawn.

“Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for the spread of the HIV virus”

Bafana Khumalo is co-director of the Sonke Gender Justice Project, a rights equality and social development group.

We asked the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to have this campaign withdrawn because it promotes harmful stereotypes about men and masculinity. The campaign very clearly implies that moderate drinkers are weak and like laities ["children" in Afrikaans] and that ‘real' men drink large quantities of alcohol. While South African Breweries has now decided to withdraw the ad as it waits for the ASA's decision, it could reappear at any moment.

Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for many health and safety problems in South Africa [whose citizens drink on average 7 - 9 litres per year (world average)] including sexual and domestic violence, homicide, assault, road traffic accidents and injury, HIV and AIDS; people who have five or more drinks at a time regularly are more likely to be HIV-positive. Given the clear relationship and these health and safety issues it is unacceptable that SAB should choose to run an ad that encourages heavy drinking.

The billboard is enormous and placed in the Afrikaans district of Kalk, known for its big drinkers. They launched the campaign just a few weeks before the World Cup, knowing that, for a lot of people, drinking is a part of football culture."