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Advertiser: Brogan’s Bar & Guesthouse
Medium: Online - Social Media
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.3, 9.2, 9.4, 9.7(e), 9.7(f), 9.8(a), 9.9(a), 9.9(b)
A competition post on the advertisers’ Facebook page stated:
“Takeaway Drinks Menu
*****Competition at the bottom of the post*****
Friday 1600 – 2100
Saturday 1600 – 2100
Sunday 1300 – 2000
Sure look, we know the beers might not be ideal 100m away from the building. But the people need their pints! Also a taste of our new cocktail menu.
The sun is gonna be singing and we are looking forward to a great weekend.
We have 5 cocktails and 5 pints to give away if you help us get the new menu out there. 5 winners will be picked to win a cocktail & pint, tag who you would choose! Winners will be announced Friday @1700”
A menu of 6 cocktails and 4 pints were included in the post.
The complainant objected to the advertisement on the following grounds:
The complainant objected to the advertisement as it did not include a responsibility message.
The complainant considered that advertisement had been placed on a platform that was used by under 18’s and that the advertisement had not included any statement to say that the competition was only open to over 18’s, nor was there any mechanism in place to prevent under 18’s from entering the competition.
The complainant considered that the competition was encouraging binge drinking as they considered that the amount of alcohol featured exceeded the daily allowance of what was considered as binge drinking.
The advertiser said that the competition was not for anyone to win 10 alcoholic drinks, rather it was an opportunity to win 2 drinks and that they could be alcohol and that alcohol-free was available on the winner's request. They also said that the drinks could be collected together or separately as they were not providing them to be consumed by the 1 person at the same time.
The advertisers said that the competition was targeted at over 18s and that the winners were handpicked to make sure they were of age. They said that if anyone had tried to enter and collect a prize that was under the age of 18, they, would have not been given any alcohol as they had a collections desk in their courtyard manned by a manager that would request ID as they would with the collection drinks service running at the time.
In response to a request from the Executive to provide information on how the competition was targeted at over 18’s, the advertisers provided a screenshot of the Insights section for their Facebook page which showed the percentage of people that follow their page by age. They advertisers referred to the percentage of people in the age range of 13 to 17 that followed as being 0.0146%. The advertisers also said that the competition was targeted at over 18’s due to the nature of the content, as alcohol was an option, and also due to the satire wording which they did not consider that under 18’s would understand.
The advertisers said that they launched a food takeaway service in the Coronavirus period, then followed by a drinks service also. To bring awareness to their customer base, they launched an online competition through their Facebook platform, and offered the opportunity for 5 people that entered to win a pint and a cocktail. They said that they offered alcohol-free options on both the beer and the cocktails for people that do not drink alcohol, however, on reviewing the post they see that this was not stated.
They said that the competition was not for anyone to win 10 alcoholic drinks, rather it was the opportunity to win two drinks which could be alcohol included or alcohol-free, available on the winner's request. They said that the drinks could be collected either together or separately, as they were not providing them to be drunk by one person at the same time. They said that the competition prize was not to promote irresponsible drinking, as it was giving a sample of their new product.
They said that the post received good engagement, and that they were trying to build an online community from their customer base who help them by sharing posts which gives good engagement. They said that they have run some competitions in the past to try and allow their customer base to try some of their new products and said that all those competitions were for product awareness and all previous had been food orientated.
The Executive reviewed the Facebook Insights information that had been provided by the advertisers. The Executive noted that the percentage of followers by age range was provided for both men and women and that the percentage figure (0.0146%) referred to by the advertisers as their total under 18’s following was in fact the figure for men only. The percentage of their female followers who were under 18 was listed as 0.073%.
Complaint Upheld In Part.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1 – Complaint Upheld:
While the Committee noted the advertisers’ response, no comment had been provided by the advertisers in regard to the omission of a responsibility message. As the Code required that marketing communications for alcohol feature a responsibility message and none had been included, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Section 9.4 of the Code.
Issue 2 – Complaint Upheld:
While the Committee noted that the under 18’s followers of the advertisers’ Facebook page was very small and that there was a process in place to age verify winners, the post had not included any reference to the fact that only those 18 and over could enter and claim the prize. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Section 9.9(a) and (b). of the Code.
Issue 3 – Complaint Not Upheld:
The Committee noted that the complainant considered that the prize of ten drinks was being awarded to one winner. The Committee reviewed the advertising and noted that it had stated “5 winners will be picked to win a cocktail & pint” therefore they considered that the advertisement had stated that there would be 5 winners and that each winner would receive a prize of two drinks, one cocktail and one pint. In the circumstances the Committee did not consider that the advertising was promoting immoderate consumer of alcohol.
The advertising should not appear in its current form.
The Committee reminded the advertisers that advertising that promoted alcohol should include a responsibility message and that the terms and conditions for competitions must clearly state that they were open to over 18’s only and that only 18s+ would be awarded the prize/gift.