Pennsylvania liquor board pulls ad that suggess connection between date rape and alcohol

This ad from the online campaign, Control Tonight, was pulled down from its site after sparking controversy that it placed the blame of date rape on the victim.

The Pennsylvania state liquor board has removed an anti-alcohol abuse ad, after it received thousands of complaints for its ‘racy’ subject: link alcohol and date-rape, the New York Daily News reported.

“She didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t say no,” the ad says in big, white letters over the image of a pair of woman’s bare legs splayed apart on a dirty bathroom floor and her underwear pulled down to her ankles.

The ad is a part of the Control Tonight campaign, which focuses on binge drinking, or excessive alcohol use, and how it can get out of hand if a sober friend isn’t nearby keeping an eye out.

The liquor board was criticized for victim-blaming, with critics saying the relationship between rape and drinking puts too much responsibility on the victim, AdWeek reported. Some members of the board are still defending the ad, however.

"We did a lot of work with focus groups and a lot of research for this campaign, and heard from our target, individuals 21 through 29, that these are scenarios they have faced and their friends have faced," said liquor board spokesperson Stacey Witalec. She said the ad wasn’t meant to be offensive or shocking, although criticism was expected by the board.

“On an annual basis more than 97,000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 are the victims of alcohol-fuelled sexual assaults,” Witalec said, the Daily Mail reported.

This ad was just one of a series produced by Control Tonight, which feature different scenarios blamed on the effects of alcohol. The scenarios range from a girlfriend cheating on her significant other at a party, a broken condom and a girl slung over a toilet on a “date with the porcelain prince.”

These ads seem to all be targeted towards young drinkers, since not one person in a scenario looks over the age of 25. Is this a successful way of getting people to think twice about binge drinking or are these ads over the top? Let GlobalPost know what you think.