Advertising on Carlsberg’s Facebook page for Father’s Day featured two chiller cabinets. One cabinet was filled with steak while the other was filled with bottles of Carlsberg. The steak cabinet had an overhead sign which read “EAT”. The beer cabinet had a similar sign which read “DRINK”. The foot of the beer cabined also carried the Drink Aware message “Enjoy Carlsberg Sensibly. Visit Drinkaware.ie
The Facebook message read:
“Wondering what to cook your da tonight? We've got you sorted! #Happy Father’s Day”.
The complainants, Alcohol Action Ireland, objected to the Facebook post on the grounds that it suggested / or encouraged irresponsible excessive drinking of alcohol or over indulgence around Father’s Day and therefore breached the alcohol provisions of the Code.
The advertisers said that as a company they take their responsibilities towards marketing their brands very seriously and go to significant lengths to ensure that their marketing communications abide by the rules set out in the Code.
The advertisers said that the marketing communication in question depicted a supermarket scenario, where it was possible to pick up the perfect Father’s Day gift i.e. a steak and a beer. They said there was no suggestion of drinking to excess and the text had merely presented a suggestion for an informal Father’s Day meal between two adults.
The advertisers also said that while most supermarkets comprised of full cabinets of food and drink, it is never suggested that a customer should eat or drink the contents of any one cabinet. Likewise they said in the scenario portrayed there was no suggestion that the full contents of either cabinet had to be consumed. The advertisers also pointed out that their Facebook page was age gated to ensure that those who used it were of legal alcohol purchase age in Ireland.
Conclusion: Complaint not upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. While reminding all advertisers that marketing communications for alcohol should not be seen to encourage excessive drinking, in this particular case they noted the media selected for the advertising and did not consider that young people had been targeted or that there was a suggestion that the contents of either chilled cabinet should be consumed in one sitting or in any excessive fashion. In the circumstances they did not consider the advertisement to be in breach of the alcohol provisions of the Code and did not uphold the complaint.
Action Required No further action was required in this case.