The advertisers’ promotion on Facebook and Twitter featured a pint of Carlsberg and referred to the following:
“Join the Green Army… Grab your seat on the bench!
FREE Pint of Carlsberg For the first 44 guests in The Den Bar for Italy v Republic of Ireland!
*Free pint for the first 44 guests to enter The Den Bar on the day of the Irish match, giveaway starts 15 minutes before the start of the match. Just come to The Den Bar and quote “Promo44”.
FREE Food Platter for Groups of 10!
Live Outdoor Screen!
5 Indoor Screens!
Full Bar Food Menu!
Bar Open Till Late!”
The complainant said she was concerned that it had not been stated in the promotion that the offer was only applicable to those over the age of 18+ and she also considered that there should have been a link provided to Drinkaware.ie ( Drinkaware.ie provides consumer information on alcohol and drinking, promotes the responsible use of alcohol and challenges anti-social drinking behaviours.)
The advertisers said they wished to apologise for any error on their part and that greater care should have been applied in the organisation of their promotion on social media. They agreed that they should have provided a link to drinkaware.ie and further agreed that in keeping with legislation governing the sale of alcohol products that they should have made reference to the fact that the promotion was only available to those over the age of 18+.
The advertisers said they took their responsibilities towards the sale of alcohol very seriously and it was only in recent years they had started using social media platforms to target those who had chosen to follow them through such media. They said the intended audience for the promotion in question had been mature sports fans.
The advertisers said on receipt of the complaint they had taken the following steps:
They removed the advertisement and added the following terms and conditions for future promotions involving alcohol:
• Entry is restricted to those 18 years of age and older.
• Prizes and/or gifts will only be awarded to those 18 years of age or older.
The advertisers also offered their assurance that any future promotions or online advertising would include the responsibility clause to “Drink alcohol responsibly”. They also said they wished to reassure the complainant that they strictly applied the policy to only serve alcohol to those who were aged 18 years of age and older.”
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They accepted that the advertisers had not intended to contravene the Code. They pointed out, however, that there was an onus on them to market alcohol products/promotions responsibly. The Committee considered the promotion to be in breach of Sections 9.4 and 9.4(a) of the Code.
As the advertisers had withdrawn their advertising and had steps in place to prevent similar happening again no further action was required in this case.