The decision is a blow to the brand’s bid to move from promoting its functional properties to the emotional aspects of drinking with friends. Its “Journey to Surf” ad was billed as the start of the plan when it launched in February as the brand’s TV debut.
It followed a group of friends as they travelled across Iceland to surf its icy waters. The ad ended with the surfers toasting their achievements in an isolated watering hole while a voiceover delivered the brand’s “It runs deep” strapline.
The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council challenged whether shots of the travelers traversing the harsh terrain and surfing together linked alcohol to irresponsible behaviour.
Jägermeister claimed surfing is a common sport in Iceland and therefore was not “dangerous or risky”. It added the only image of the drink was at the end of the ad when the story had moved to a bar, a “clearly different environment” to the scenes set outside.
The Advertising Standards Authority said the inclusion of the drink alongside “physically demanding and challenging” activities made a clear association between the brand and daring behaviour.
Jägermeister’s ad ban follows rival spirit brand Captain Morgan in being rapped for encouraging drinkers to be irresponsible. Diageo was forced to pull a high-profile TV advert (see above) for its spiced-rum brand in February due to several scenes that showed the brand character performing adventurous acts.