Two complaints were made about a brochure for Fireball Whiskey, which carried the text “The hotter you are the faster I come”, as well as showing someone who appeared to be under 25 holding a sign that read: “Tastes like heaven burns like hell”.
Both complaints were upheld.
The ASA said: “We considered the claim ‘the hotter you are the faster I come’ would be understood by consumers as a sexually explicit reference. We considered the presentation of a person, who appeared under the age of 25, in conjunction with the claim, was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.”
Hi Spirits said it would reprint the brochure and address the issues that have been raised.
Chairman Jeremy Hill said: “We are disappointed that the ASA has once again ruled against Fireball.
"In this instance, the brochure was a marketing communication to trade stockists of the brand, not something which would be seen by consumers, and so we did not believe it fell within the ASA’s remit. The brochure was produced in January 2013 and predated the two rulings against Fireball earlier this year.
“Since then we have worked closely with the ASA to ensure we meet our obligations, and have implemented new procedures to ensure that all our brands’ advertising, whether through social media channels or other media, complies with the CAP Code.
“We recognise our responsibility to promote our brand portfolio responsibly. Fireball typically appeals to media-savvy and digitally literate consumers who understand and engage with the tongue-in-cheek marketing which the brand receives. We believe it is important to note that the complaints which have made against Fireball have not been instigated by members the public, but by organisations which have a specific campaigning stance.”
It is the fourth time this year Hi Spirits has been held up for breaching the ASA code, mainly with Fireball Whiskey, which has been slapped several times for using socially irresponsible material on its Facebook page.
Hi Spirits has also received a rap on the knuckles from the ASA over its Antica Sambuca brand’s Facebook page.
The ASA is in the second year of an extended remit that sees it police social media and online channels, and it has been conducting a year-long review of whether it needs to tighten its rules.