Strongbow - not more important that your relationships

strongbow Strongbow has had an advert on its YouTube channel banned. Why? The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that it showed alcohol as 'being a priority in life'. 99% of Bitterwallet's readers just spat on the floor in disgust and started pacing around looking to fight someone, guaranteed.

So who raised a complaint? Well, the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC), supported by Alcohol Concern, complained about the advert, which showed a pretend (remember that - 'pretend', as in 'make believe') award ceremony, which showed a winning category called "Best Strongbow as my other half".

The pretend winner of the award, Carl, didn't pick his pretend award up, because he was on a 'date', but sent in a make-believe video to profess his pretend "love" for Strongbow cider.

Heineken, who own Strongbow, said that they thought the whole advert was "obviously a parody", and nothing in the ad showed 'Carl' to be a "regular, solitary drinker", or someone who used alcohol to relieve boredom or other problems. And it didn't say that alcohol was a priority in his life. It is also all made-up. Just making sure you remember that.

YAAC's complaint said that they were worried that the ad implied Carl was not at the awards ceremony because he was drinking instead. Imagine that. Drinking booze. What a world! Not only that, an advert for an alcoholic beverage, which leaves the viewer imagining drinking some booze themselves. Crazy town.

The ASA conceded that the advert was supposed to be humorous, but the fact that 'Carl' said he 'loved' Strongbow showed that he thought his relationship with booze was as important as a significant romantic relationship with another person.

The watchdog said in its ruling: "We considered that where the presenter stated Carl was on a date, viewers were likely to infer from this either that Carl was not at the awards ceremony because he was with Strongbow or that, judging from the presenter's tone of voice, expression and where he stated "… good luck with your date", which indicated a level of scepticism, the date was unlikely to go well because Carl was already committed to his relationship with Strongbow."

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

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