By Annette Shailer

More than 200 people have phoned in complaints at the ABC following this week’s airing of a spoof ad that promotes the consumption of beer to deal with hard times.

The spoof commercials are part of a new ABC1 program The Gruen Transfer, which aims to show how persuasive television advertising can be and how the underlying meanings often undetected.

The unconventional ads are the brainchild of ABC executive producer, Andrew Denton, and feature ‘Gruen’ products including a Gruen Beer, Gruen Anti-Aging Cream and Gruen Bank.

This week’s Gruen Beer ad featured a man at a bar encouraged to turn to drinking until he thinks he’s funny and sexy even after vomiting, with the line “there’s no hard times Gruen can’t get you through.” 

The Gruen products are named after Victor Gruen, an Austrian-born shopping mall famous for his juxtaposition of light, music and confusing layout, leading shoppers into a buying trance.

The Gruen Transfer is hosted by comic Wil Anderson and was advertised during Channel Nine’s Logies program, with Andrew Denton sipping on Gruen Beer at the ceremony.

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