Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay ad banned for appealing to kids

Diageo’s Captain Morgan company has drawn the wrath of the advertising watchdog for the third time this year by running an ad that could appeal to children.

The Parrot Bay ad's use of slapstick humour and animation was deemed to make it appealing to kids.
The Parrot Bay ad’s use of slapstick humour and animation was deemed to make it appealing to kids.

The banned ad for the rum maker’s frozen cocktail Parrot Bay range was deemed to have risked entertaining children through its mix of animation and slapstick humour. A colourful parrot was shown being frozen and squawking to play out the drink’s preparation instructions while on screen text read: “Freeze a parrot today….contains alcohol”

Diageo argued that despite the playful nature of the ad, its beach bar setting and adult cast emphasised its adult tone. It cited that previous ads featuring the parrot had gone unpunished and referred to research that found 82% of those who watched it said it was not childish.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the Parrot Bay ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

Diageo said it will appeal the ad ban.

Ed Pilkington, consumer marketing and innovation director for Diageo Western Europe, said: “We are disappointed with the ASA Council’s adjudication and will be appealing against the decision. We will be liaising with the ASA and will await the decision of the Independent review process.”

It is the latest ad ban for the Diageo-owned Captain Morgan company. It has been rapped twice this year for running TV and Facebook ads that encouraged daring behaviour and drinking to change moods respectively.


Kathy Parker, Diageo

Diageo believes in the power of design

Kathy Parker

Those familiar with my previous columns will know that I am passionate about brands having a rewarding relationship with consumers. I have talked about how this can be achieved through creating a real value exchange, or by the power of the personal touch; but one element that can never be overlooked is how brands can accomplish this through design and physical differentiation.


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