Advertising for Jameson’s “Good Evening Dublin” campaign referred to the following:
FRIDAY NIGHT’S CALLING BE A SHAME TO IGNORE IT.”
The poster also featured a bottle of Jameson in the bottom right hand corner.
The internet banner for Jameson featured the following text:
“Have no Plans? Click here>
JAMESON IRISH WHISKEY
Enjoy JAMESON Sensibly. Visit drinkaware.ie”
When the banner was clicked, web users were brought to another website thejournal.ie and from there to another section of the site dailyedge.ie where Jameson offered information on “6 ways to completely raise your BBQ game” including tips on how to make novelty ice, recipes and little touches to help a barbeque run smoothly.
The complainant who operates Drinkawaste.com considered the campaign to be irresponsible. He considered the line “Friday night’s calling be a shame to ignore it” to be an invitation to young people to go out into pubs and clubs and drink Jameson 40% alcohol. He said that the poster contained no health warnings apart from the mandatory drink sensible tag. He also considered that in placing the advertising on the Luas, the advertisers were attracting the attention of a young audience.
The complainant also considered that the information provided by Jameson on the internet had been camouflaged in a deceptive manner to appear as independent editorial, when in fact what was being offered was a product which contained 40% alcohol. Once again he considered that the target audience for the campaign had been the young.
The advertisers said that the target audience for all Jameson marketing communications was 25-34 year old males and that this campaign had been no different. They never sought to appeal to consumers below this age demographic. The objective of the campaign in question had been to highlight to their target audience that the best nights out were often those that were unplanned.
They said that they had chosen the media in question for their campaign (i.e. Luas and Digital sites) after analysis of the demographic profile of consumers who used these specific media channels. In both cases both media were well within the regulatory minimum viewership demographic profile of 75% over 18. The advertisers forwarded the demographic profiles to the Authority for both media involved.
The advertisers said they had chosen the line ‘Friday Night’s calling, Be a shame to ignore it” after carrying out extensive consumer research. This research revealed that 18-44 year old men were 20% more likely on average to socialise on a Friday night. With this information in mind they suggested to this target audience that should the opportunity of an unplanned night out with friends arise it would “Be a shame to ignore it.”
The advertisers disagreed with the concern raised by the complainant that they had been deceptive in placing their advertising on thejournal.ie and thedailyedge.ie. They said that the involvement and sponsorship of the Jameson brand had been clearly highlighted to consumers at each step of the campaign. They also pointed out that the information provided had been in relation to barbecue tips (for that unplanned night) and had not specifically related to the consumption of alcohol.
Complaint Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted the target audience for the campaign as outlined by the advertisers and did not consider the campaign had targeted the young. They also considered that the information, recipes etc. provided on the internet were clearly sponsored by Jameson and all marketing communications had included the compulsory Drinkaware.ie responsible drinking message and logo.
The Committee noted that the advertisers were recommending that those who had the opportunity to go out on a Friday night should do so. They considered that it would be unfair to assume that the inclusion of a product shot in an advertisement was an encouragement or invitation to consume the whole product in one evening or that it would be necessary to do so to have an enjoyable night out. In the circumstances the Complaints Committee did not consider that the advertising had breached Sections 7.1 or 7.4(b) of the Code.
No further action was required in this case.