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Advertiser: SuperValu Raheny (Kane & McCartney Group)
Medium: Internet (Social Media)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 9.2, 9.7
The advertisement was seen on the SuperValu Raheny Facebook page and advertised a competition to win an Ireland Rugby jersey in association with Guinness 6 Nations.
The advertisement consisted of an image featuring a masked store assistant holding up the Ireland rugby jersey beside a display of Guinness multi-pack cans. Written at the bottom right of the image was “Please drink sensibly”. The caption above the image read:
“Adam needs to find a home for his Ireland Rugby jersey thanks to Guinness. To enter to win, simply be following and let people know about our comp to enter. We all hope Ireland bring home this year’s Guinness 6 Nations and look forward to one of you getting your hands on this jersey. Over 18’s only. Please drink sensibly.”
Issue 1: The complainant said that the advertisement was advertising alcohol on a site for younger people under the age of 18 years old.
Issue 2: The ASAI challenged whether the person depicted in the advertisement was aged over 25.
The Musgrave Group responded on behalf of the advertisers.
Issue 1: They said that they investigated the complaint with the retailer in question and that the competition was targeted to a ‘restricted audience’ on Facebook. They said that the caption stated that the competition was open to ‘over 18’s only’ and that the ‘please drink sensibly’ guideline was written both in the caption and featured on the image.
Issue 2: It was confirmed that the person depicted was under the age of 25. They said that the advertisers had explained that this was an error and that the advertisement had since been deleted from their Facebook. They said there was no paid promotion of the Facebook advertisement and that it was viewed by a small number of the ‘restricted audience’ only.
The Musgrave Group said that they released alcohol advertising guidelines for social media to their retailers in 2021 to ensure compliance with the ASAI’s Code. In addition to this, the Musgrave Group said they developed a social media online learning module (including information on alcohol advertising in compliance with the Code) which has been available to their retailers since August 2021. The advertisers reiterated that in compliance with their guidelines and the Code, the advertisement was targeted to a ‘restricted audience’ over the age of 18 only and featured the guidelines that the competition was open to ‘over 18’s only’ and to ‘please drink sensibly’.
The Musgrave Group confirmed that they spoke to SuperValu Raheny in relation to the requirements of the Code, their previously issued alcohol advertising guidelines and resources available and that advertisements must conform to all relevant rules.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response including that the advertisement had been deleted.
Issue 1: Not Upheld.
The Complaints Committee noted that the advertisement was targeted towards people over the age of 18 and therefore did not consider that there was a breach of the ASAI Code in relation to this issue.
Issue 2: Upheld.
In light of confirmation that the person depicted in the marketing communication was under the age of 25, the Committee considered that the advertisement was in breach of Code section 9.7(a).
Action Required: Anyone depicted in future marketing communications advertising alcohol should be over the age of 25 and should appear to be over the age of 25.