ASA investigates Vittel ‘sports’ ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is investigating complaints that a campaign for water brand Vittel encourages and condones anti-social behaviour.

The poster campaign encourages consumers to use full and empty bottles of the Nestlé-owned mineral water to play a range of "sports". In one execution, Vittel drinkers are encouraged to throw bottles to each other in a form of rugby and in another consumers are shown spraying each other with water in an "archery" game.

An ASA spokesman says it is "responding to complaints that the ads are irresponsible and condone or encourage anti-social behaviour" but it is not looking into complaints that they encourage people to waste water.

Tom Willcock, head of marketing for Nestlé Waters, says: "We have received a formal notification from the ASA that it has received consumer complaints in relation to a London Underground poster for our Vittel brand. We are fully assisting the ASA in its investigation."

The campaign is no longer running.

The ASA has also criticised Barclays over a "price matching" deal on its home insurance offer.

The TV ad, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, was investigated earlier in the year after complaints that the offer was not made clear. Although it is a "price matching" deal, Barclays would only drop its price by a maximum of £475. The ASA had ruled that the limit did not need to be made explicit because it would only affect a very limited number of people.

Barclays then cut the maximum price drop to £100 and did not initially highlight the restriction. It has now been amended. The ASA says that Barclays breached its code by broadcasting the ad without any mention of the new limits for more than a month.

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