Remember not to imply alcohol has therapeutic qualities when advertising your products during this season of goodwill.
The ASA recently upheld a complaint against Quick Commerce Ltd t/a Zapp for a poster (digital static image) on 16 November 2022 Quick Commerce Ltd - ASA | CAP An electronic poster for a grocery delivery service suggested that alcohol had therapeutic qualities and was capable of changing moods, specifically suggesting that it could accelerate feelings of relaxation had a complaint upheld against it.
The CAP Code requires that marketing communications must be socially responsible and must not imply that alcohol was capable of changing mood.
An electronic poster for Zapp, a grocery delivery service, showed a bottle of gin, two bottles of tonic water and a lime. Text stated, “Friday Feels – in minutes, 24/7”
The ASA understood that the ad appeared on Fridays only for a grocery delivery service and understood that it hinted at the idea of relaxing with a drink at the end of the working week. However, the prominence given to a bottle of gin in conjunction with the text “Friday Feels – in minutes […]” was found to suggest that alcohol could help accelerate the feeling of relaxation at the end of the working week, on a day typically associated with socialising in the evening.
Although the ASA acknowledged that the line “in minutes, 24/7” was a reference to the advertiser’s 24-hour delivery service, they also considered that “Friday Feels – in minutes, 24/7”, alongside a picture of gin and tonic bottles only, would be taken to mean that this feeling of relaxation could be achieved at any time of day, by drinking alcohol. The ASA therefore considered the ad implied that alcohol was capable of improving and changing mood and concluded that it breached the Code.
Where alcohol is featured prominently or is the main focus of an advert that references positive feelings, care should be taken that it does not imply that alcohol itself is responsible for improving or changing those feelings. This is particularly important for the upcoming season where socialising and partying may feature in adverts for alcohol.
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