In the era of the internet and social media, the "truth" is hard to come by. There is even a suggestion that it has been "killed off". However this advertising agency wants people to let go of that idea — with a bottle of vodka.
A novelty bottle of Post-Truth Vodka launched by Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu is being sold on Trade Me with a $1 reserve. "We can't put a price on truth. But you can," the auction post says. The bottle is currently worth $220.
Now although the bottle is beautifully presented and the label design as good as any premium vodka, nothing is quite what it seems.
The bottle has two written labels: One with a lengthy "Post-truth" description of the liquor and one on the back revealing the truth about the beverage inside.
THE FRONT LABEL
"Some say you are holding the greatest vodka ever made. It really is tremendous.
"Made from the largest grain in all of Russia and handmelted Arctic ice cap, we have achieved a flavour profile worthy of the Tsars themselves.
"One sip will immediately confirm your impeccable taste. It is at once comforting, seductive, typically unique, and boisterously subtle. Also, unlike the truth, it is very easy to swallow."
Sounds delicious right? Well here is the truth about this delicious beverage.
THE BACK LABEL
"You are holding an alcoholic beverage. It was made by fermenting natural sugars, such as starch, in water.
"It was then boiled to separate the resulting ethanol via a process of selective condensation.
"Like the truth, distilling can be a tedious yet worthwhile process.
"Oh and by the way, this isn't vodka. It's white rum from the Dancing Sands Distillery in Nelson, NZ.
"And that's the truth. Which is rare these days.
"Please think responsibly."
Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu created the campaign to make people more aware of the differences between truth and post-truth.
"In 2016 Post-Truth was named word of the year. Which was ironic because really, it's more like two words stuck together, but that's the sort of dodgy carry-on we've all come to expect these days. There's a general feeling that the Truth has been killed off," they said.
"However, we don't agree. At most the Truth has simply been hidden. And really, you couldn't kill the Truth by ignoring it any more than you could destroy the sun by installing a Venetian blind. The Truth is always here. Somewhere. We just need to remember where we left it.
"That's why we made this vodka: to encourage people to be more vigilant with the Truth, stop jumping to conclusions, question everything, examine personal biases, and always maintain a healthy degree of scepticism.
"Just like if you read the back of our label and discover that the bottle contains white rum, not vodka.
"This in our opinion makes them the perfect recipients."
The advertising company is donating all proceeds from the sale to Skeptics Society, a non-profit body that helps promote critical thinking.
"We are naturally suspicious of an advertising agency suddenly becoming a champion of truth, but we like vodka," a Skeptics Society spokesperson said.
Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu is the same advertising company that developed the Unruly Tourist Pizza billboard for Hell Pizza.
The pizza company wanted to capitalise on the hype surrounding the British family visiting New Zealand by launching a new pizza.
Last week, a billboard went up at Victoria Park showing the limited edition "Unruly Tourist Pizza".
A disclaimer warns potential buyers that the pizza "may contain hair and ants".
The pizza did come with an important and highly specific condition:
"Terms and conditions: Only available to notorious families of rabble rousers who have stolen a rope, trashed a beach, and received a deportation notice in the last seven days. @John Johnson, drop in to any branch of Hell in New Zealand to redeem your prize."
Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu previously provoked controversy in 2014, when it promoted Hell Pizza's rabbit pizza by pinning rabbit skins to a billboard.