'Lively' Southern Comfort ad banned

31 October, 2008

An ad for Southern Comfort has been banned because it showed people having rounds of drinks at a lively party - even though its tagline carried a responsible drinking message.

Four viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Agency about the TV ad, saying it implied drink was essential to the success of the occasion , that it encouraged irresponsible

consumption of alcohol and that it suggested alcohol could make individuals more popular.

The ASA said: "We considered the implication was that the

lively party atmosphere depended on the presence of Southern Comfort.

"We considered that, notwithstanding the fact that no one was shown actually drinking in the ad, the ad nevertheless gave the impression that at least some of the friends were each consuming several drinks over the course of one evening."

Brand owner Bacardi Brown-Forman pointed out that the behaviour of the people shown in the ad did not change as a result of drinking alcohol, and that the ad showed people wearing different clothes, to make it clear they were drinking on different occasions.

It noted the ad's strapline - For Picture Perfect Nights, Please Drink Responsibly - and pointed out that a man could drink four of the single-serve drinks shown in the ad and a woman three within the government's guidelines for sensible daily drinking.

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