Lindsay blasts alcohol industry chiefs over ad

May 3rd, 2008 - 5:56 pm ICT by admin  

Lindsay Lohan

Melbourne, May 03 (ANI): American actress Lindsay Lohan blasted US alcohol industry chiefs for exploiting her infamous DUI mugshot for their advert.

Lohan, who had been arrested twice for DUI last year, was prominently featured on Friday in an advertisement attacking legislation for devices that measure a driver’s blood alcohol level before their vehicle can start.

The full-page black-and-white ad appeared in USA Today and was paid for by the American Beverage Institute, a trade group that supports the interests of the alcohol industry.

The ad reads “Ignition interlocks are a good idea for” above Lohan’s mug shot from her July 24, 2007 arrest and “But a bad idea for us” above smaller photos of people drinking.

Lohan’s lawyer, Blair Berk, has slammed the advert and the paper’s bosses as “idiotic”.

“USA Today is idiotic for running such an irresponsible advertisement, suggesting that drinking and driving is some kind of American ‘tradition’ we should protect,” Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.

“Not identifying that this ad was paid for by the liquor industry is profoundly reckless.

“Drunk, old, white businessmen, drunk cougars out for girls night out, and drunk wedding parties should be kept off the roads of America. Lindsay Lohan fully endorses ignition interlock devices that have been well-proven to save lives,” he said.

Lohan has further hired lawyers to determine if the ad violates the trademark laws, which prohibit businesses from using someone’s picture for commercial gain without their consent.

“The reason that we used Lindsay Lohan is because she’s had multiple DUIs that have been high profile,” American Beverage Institute managing director Sarah Longwell said.

“We needed to create the distinction for the public what someone with multiple DUIs looked like versus a low blood-alcohol-level first-time offender,” she added.

Lawmakers in several states have passed bills that would require drunken driving offenders to pay for and install an ignition interlock system.

Under many such laws, the interlock requirement extends to first-time offenders driving while “highly intoxicated” or with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent or higher.

The ad suggested that ignition interlocks were fine for “hard-core” drunk drivers, but suggested they would bring an end to champagne toasts at weddings, wine at dinner and ballgame beers.

Even after being questioned about their rights to using Lohans image, the American Beverage Institute is adamant to stick by their ad.

“People magazine, Smoking Gun and a lot of people have republished this mug shot,” said Longwell.

“It was publicly accessible. We’re not using it for any kind of commercial gain. So we’re well within our rights to use it,” she added.

Reached for comment about Berk’s statement, USA Today spokesman Ed Cassidy issued a statement for it.

“Advocacy advertising is a big part of what we do. Our pages function as forum for competing views,” he said. (ANI)

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