Diageo’s online post featured “The Captain” brand character raising a glass and cheering his crew alongside a strapline that read: “Wednesday. I’m declaring war on mid-week boredom”.
The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council took issue with the promotion, which it claimed urged drinkers to alleviate boredom by irresponsibly drinking with their friends. It is unusual for a drinks brand to link to boredom in campaigns and Diageo argued its own post was more a call to drinkers to take a break from their daily routine and relax with friends.
It also mentioned the advert was backed by other posts encouraging fans to meet with friends as part of a series, which included two responsible drinking posts.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled consumers were likely to think the Captain had sought out alcohol to entertain himself when they viewed it, which breached rules against implying alcohol is capable of changing moods.
Diageo’s rum brand was rapped earlier this year for encouraging daring behaviour in a TV advert that featured the brand character performing a range of dangerous stunts.