Hooch has been rapped by the ASA for appealing to under-18s after showing Vine star Joe Charman using a “swimming pool inflatable” in an ad while holding its product.
The Facebook page for Charman, who is also known as ‘the skills guy’ for pulling off seemingly impossible stunts, featured an image of him alongside Hooch branding as well as him drinking a bottle of Hooch. The page included a video, which was labelled “When its [sic] your round … Make it a Hooch! #OutrageouslyRefreshing”.
In the video, he is shown holding three bottles of Hooch at the side of a swimming pool. He then jumps onto an inflatable in the water, travelling across the pool and reaching two other men at the opposite side. Each of them then drinks from the bottles.
The complainant believed the ad depicted Charman behaving in a juvenile manner, and as he is popular with young people they challenged whether the ad breached the advertising code.
Hooch parent Global Brands said that even though the ad was meant to entertain, it did not feature juvenile or reckless behaviour.
Meanwhile, Charman said he had become infamous for creating skills-related videos, although it was “obvious” to his fan base that the feats shown were not real or achievable. He added that his audience understood the videos were intended to entertain, not to promote juvenile behaviour.
Facebook said the post did not violate its terms.
The ASA admitted that the Hooch-branded content, which appeared in the header of Charman’s Facebook page, was not likely to be of particular appeal to people under the age of 18.
However, it did believe showing Charman carrying out a stunt using a swimming pool inflatable depicted behaviour likely to be regarded as juvenile, and therefore likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s. As a result, it concluded that the ad breached the code.
The ad cannot appear again in its current form, and the ASA has told Hooch to ensure that those playing a significant role in its future ads were not shown behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner.