Leading suppliers cleared of breaching ad rules

18 December, 2013

Molson Coors and Bacardi Brown-Forman Beverages have both dodged sanctions after being cleared of breaching advertising rules by the watchdog.

After watching a man bungee jump into a vat of apples to bob for one as part of a Molson Coors ad for Carling British Cider, the Advertising Standards Authority was worried it linked alcohol to daring behaviour.

But after checking the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice code it could not find a breach and it cleared the supplier.

A viewer also complained about the ad because he believed the name was a misnomer, arguing the cider was not made from British apples.

Molson Coors defended itself by saying some of the apples used were British – although the amount varied between batches – and that the cider was made in Herefordshire and bottled in Burton.

The ASA sided with the supplier and said: “We acknowledged the product was produced in the UK using British cider making techniques and was bottled in the UK.

“While the complainant believed the ad implied all apples used to produce Carling British Cider were British, the ad made no such claim and we noted that Carling British Cider was in fact made with some British apples.

“While the ad featured a typical British summer fete, we considered it did not create the impression that only British apples were used to make CBC.”

Meanwhile a complainant challenged whether a BBFB radio ad for Jack Daniels promoted irresponsible drinking.

The voiceover in the ad said: “Some say lousy record keeping is what kept Jack Daniel from knowing his actual birthday.  

“Others blamed his misfortune on forgetful parents. But none of that mattered to Jack Daniel. The way he saw it, celebrating the entire month of September was fair compromise.  

“And in the end we can't say we blame him. So raise a glass to a man and his Tennessee whiskey and join us in celebrating Mr Jack’s birthday all September long. Make it memorable. Please drink responsibly.”   

BBFB told the ASA that in inviting consumers to raise a glass in a toast to its brand’s founder and his invention, it intentionally expressed this in the singular ‒ “raise a glass”.  

It added that it specifically separated raising “a glass” on one single occasion from the month-long celebration it also urged fans to undertake, and that it did not expressly tell them to drink all month long.

The ASA agreed and said: “Although the invite to celebrate Mr Daniel’s birthday throughout September did not state that consumers should continue drinking to mark the occasion, we noted that the wording used was ‘join us’ in celebrating all September long.  

“We considered that, in the context of an advertiser promoting whiskey, this was likely to be understood as joining in by drinking Jack Daniels.  

“Nonetheless, even with the reference to celebrating ‘all September long’ we considered the ad did not give the overall impression that consumers should drink irresponsibly by, for example, buying repeated rounds of whiskey or drinking immoderately.  

“We considered it was possible to celebrate throughout the month of September by drinking Jack Daniels responsibly.”




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