The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the self-regulatory organisation tasked with the regulation of the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK, has ruled a Heineken TV ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. The decision is made in reaction to 17 complaints the ASA received because the ad showed a man and a woman clinking two bottles of Heineken together at the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium.
Football supporters have not been allowed to drink alcohol in their seats since the mid-1980s, yet that was not depicted in the Heineken ad.
The reason for the 17 complaints varied: some people complained because it appeared to condone or encourage the consumption of alcohol in a football stadium within sight of the pitch; and others because it condoned or encouraged people to take glass bottles into a football stadium, which is not permitted.
According to Heineken the ad is humorous and unrealistic of and therefore people would understand the ad was showing one person’s fantasy. The brewer said it did not believe the ad was socially irresponsible or in breach of the advertising code.
The ASA however, found that the ad implied consumption of the beer during the football match and that the ad was not “obviously fantastical throughout since it depicted a real event at a well-known and recognisable stadium.”
The ASA ruled the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form; otherwise there has not been a substantial penalty (for instance a substantial fine for breaching the code of conduct).
Source: The Grocer 07/16/13