The photos in question appeared to show young adults with multiple drinks as well as young adults with drinks and car keys. Complaints also suggested the people in the images didn’t look over 25, which is part of the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code that must be adhered to by alcohol advertisers.
Hi Spirits told the ASA that the “photographs were not advertising, nor a sales promotion or a marketing communication to which the CAP Code applied". They also stated that the images had been uploaded to the photos section of the Antica Sambuca UK Facebook page so that they could be viewed by the individuals featured. Hi Spirits told the ASA that there were "no clear references to Antica Sambuca in the images and that they had not added any Antica Sambuca branding to them".
However, all three complaints were upheld and the ASA said: "The images must no longer appear on the Antica Sambuca Facebook photo page. We told Hi Spirits to ensure that their advertising did not condone excessive or immoderate drinking, link drinking and driving, and that people shown drinking or playing a significant role in their ads were not, and did not seem to be, under the age of 25 years.”
Jeremy Hill, chairman of Hi-Spirits said: “The social media pages for our brands are intended to create a sense of community for customers who enjoy our products responsibly. We acted to remove some photographs as soon as the matter was raised with us by the ASA, and sought clarification on others, and acted on receiving that clarification. We have implemented new procedures to ensure that our brands’ social media complies with the ASA requirements.”