The idea of being “big in Japan” is a well-known entertainment cliché—presenting the Asian nation as a place where American entertainers can go for a paycheck. But it may soon get harder for celebrities of all ilk to make a buck by shilling suds there. Japan’s beer industry has decided to rewrite some of the guidelines governing its TV beer commercials.
A number of major industry groups including the Brewers Association of Japan have reportedly agreed to a new set of advertising restrictions as a way to discourage excessive and underage alcohol consumption. Many of the changes target some of Japan’s most common TV commercial clichés. Of concern to potential celebrity endorsers, all actors in commercials now must be at least 25 years of age. Previously, anyone of the country’s legal drinking age, which is 20, could be in beer spots. As the Telegraph points out, this new rule could be problematic for always in-demand “youthful-looking celebrities.” And it’s not just humans feeling the crunch either. The new rules also disallow the use of video game or anime characters as it’s believed that these too appeal mainly to younger, and potentially underage, drinkers.
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But whoever brewers choose to endorse their products, youth may not be as important as it used to be: The new guidelines also eliminate certain types of close-up shots showing actors enjoying beer—meaning that a few wrinkles here and there are suddenly less important. Additionally, gulping noises—a common sound effect used in Japanese beer commercials—are also getting the boot. Rocket News 24 reports that the Japanese government believes hearing these sounds could cause mental distress for those with alcohol-dependency issues.