N.B.’s Whisky Lassie petitions to pull Dewar’s Baron ad

The Dewar's whisky brand has pulled one of its ads after critics, including a New Brunswick woman, called it sexist and outdated.

Company removes 'Meet the Baron' commercial that features overweight woman intercepted by wingman

Dewar's whiskey has pulled a controversial ad after a social media backlash. 1:47

The Dewar's whisky brand has pulled one of its ads after critics, including a New Brunswick woman, called it sexist and outdated.

Saint John-based blogger, Johanne McInnis, launched a petition to get rid of the commercial, called "Meet the Baron." It features a character who intercepts an overweight woman approaching his friend.

"What you see is the wingman saves the drinking man from this plus-sized woman who is walking towards the drinking man," said McInnis.

"And in a younger demographic, the terminology that is used is called 'Jumping the grenade,' and I'm quoting the Urban Dictionary: 'Saving your friend from the fat, ugly chick.'

Once I watched the ad I literally gasped.  That put the fire in me as a woman, and as a whisky woman especially. - Johanne McInnis, blogger

"And I took offence to that and immediately contacted Dewar's using social media, Twitter, to see why this type of ad even existed."

McInnis, known for writing a blog on the drink under the name, Whisky Lassie, was first alerted to the North American ad by two friends who appealed to the company to get rid of it.

Dewar's replied to them on Twitter and said, "That blonde woman was a very dangerous criminal and The Baron was merely saving a friend's life."

"Once I watched the ad I literally gasped," said McInnis.

"That put the fire in me as a woman, and as a whisky woman especially."

Once McInnis and her partner, Graham MacKenney set up the petition, she said Twitter lit up. Dewar's pulled the ad on Wednesday, within 24 hours of the social media backlash.

In a statement, the company said that upon further review, it decided to remove the video from its YouTube page.

"We appreciate the comments regarding 'The Baron' from all who spoke up: your feedback allows us to continuously evaluate what we do," the company said in a post on Twitter.

"With a big company you don't expect much out of them," said MacKenney. "I mean who are we among so many?

"But this time, this time they act."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.