Intercontinental brands has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an ad campaign promoting its mix drink spirit Vodkat for implying it could enhance confidence.
The regulator has ordered the company to withdraw the campaign, comprising a TV ad and four poster executions, after it triggered 32 complaints.
The campaign, created by Poulters, included a TV ad depicting young women and two men dressed in clubwear making statements to the viewer as they crossed the screen such as "It’s not an attitude, it’s the way I am" accompanied by a final shot of the product and the strapline "Vodkats. You’ve got to be one to drink one". Variants of the ad were also depicted in poster format with phrases such as "That’s right. Look up to me" and "I’m not anti-social, I just don’t like you."
Complainants argued the ads, which clearly targeted young people, were "irresponsible" because they implied it was "cool" to drink Vodkat and suggested the product could contribute to popularity or confidence.
• Meanwhile the ASA has dismissed complaints about a Coors Brewers poster ad promoting its 2% lager, Carling C2, featuring images of a deserted office desk and a crowded bar scene accompanied by text referring to the "gone-to-lunch" and "swift-one-at-lunch" pint. The ASA did not uphold complaints that the ad was "irresponsible" and encouraged workers to drink alcohol during the day. It ruled the ads would not encourage excessive drinking nor drinking during lunchtime.
• Birds Eye has also been cleared by the regulator for a TV ad promoting its salmon products, created by Bartle Boogle Hegarty (BBH), which aimed to highlight the difference between farmed and wild salmon explaining to viewers that a synthetic colourant, astaxanthin, can sometimes be added to their feed to mimic its colouring created in the wild.
The regulator did not uphold a complaint from a viewer who argued the ad was misleading because it implied all astaxanthin was synthetic, ruling the main message of the ad was to emphasis that Birds Eye products contained no added artificialities.