Three posts on the Hüfi Beer Facebook page stated:
Post 1 featured the image of a snow boarder against the backdrop of a mountain and stated:
“You may not be able to hit the slopes this weekend, but you can still experience the best of Switzerland with a Glacier-cold Hüfi.”
Post 2 featured a traditional cuckoo clock and a can of Hufi and stated:
“For the finest Swiss creation since the cuckoo clock, look no further than the glacier cold refreshment of Hüfi beer.”
Post 3 featured the image of skiers with a chalet and a cable car in the background and stated:
“Follow up some Swiss leisure with some glacier-cold Swiss pleasure.”
The complainant considered that the posts were misleading as they were implying that Hüfi Beer was Swiss when the beer was actually a Swiss style beer brewed outside of Switzerland.
The advertisers stated that their packaging described their brand as a premium beer that was inspired by the Hüfi Glacier in the Swiss Alps. They said that their packaging also included the name of the brewer with an address in Poland. They argued that many brands used ‘inspiration and location’ as a way of describing their brand, for example Coors Light, presented as if being from the Rocky Mountains despite being brewed in multiple facilities across the US and the UK. They also referred to Smirnoff Vodka that was presented as being of Russian heritage when it was distilled in Glasgow. They said that Hüfi Beer was brewed in Poland and that this was clearly presented on their packaging. Finally, they said that there was no attempt on their part to claim that their beer was brewed in Switzerland.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. While the Committee acknowledged that the advertiser’s packaging included details of the brewer based in Poland, they considered that the use of phrases such as “experience the best of Switzerland”, “for the finest Swiss creation since the cuckoo clock” and “Follow up some Swiss leisure with some glacier-cold Swiss pleasure” had given the impression that the beer was from Switzerland. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the Facebook posts were in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4 and 4.9 of the Code.
The advertising should not reappear in its current form again.