A TV ad promoting beer featured three main stories shown in slow motion and set to the chorus of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” with the lyrics “climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, ‘til you find your dream”.
The ASA upheld four complaints that had been put forward by Alcohol Concern Youth Alcohol Council.
The council challenged whether the advert implied that alcohol could contribute to an individual’s popularity; that drinking alcohol was a key component of social success; portrayed alcohol as indispensable and overcoming problems and that alcohol had therapeutic qualities and is capable of changing mood and behaviour.
Coalition of UK Brewers
However, the Coalition of UK Brewers, which includes ABInBev, Carlsberg UK, Heineken UK, Miller Brands UK and Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK), explained that the ad was meant to be an exaggerated interpretation of the real world.
The Coalition of UK Brewers thought that the “exaggerated and surreal storylines” were such that viewers would not make any direct associations with alcohol and social success.
However, the ASA considered that one of the storylines where the young man met his girlfriend’s father could be considered to imply that alcohol contributed to his popularity and confidence and saw the introduction of alcohol was likely to be seen as a key component of social success.
It also upheld the other two points claiming that in the storyline depicting the woman at work, alcohol was depicted as a solution to the problem of a large workload. While the storyline featuring the young man and his girlfriend’s father, saw beer as being responsible for a change of mood and behaviour.
Only last week the campaign escaped censure from the ASA after complaint that an advert could be considered as programming.
Let There Be Beer
A spokesperson from Let There Be Beer, which is spearheaded by a coalition of UK brewers, said: “We are disappointed that the Let There Be Beer advertisement has been ruled against but we respect the decision of the ASA Council.
“We made every effort to ensure that this advert was suitable for broadcast including close collaboration with the body responsible for pre-clearing TV ads, editing the script and storyboard in line with its feedback to ensure it was clear that the advert was celebrating what is great about the national drink.
“We would like to make it clear that there have been no consumer complaints about the commercial – indeed, our research shows it was positively received, understood and enjoyed, thus providing a vital boost to the UK beer industry.
“The brewing industry plays a vital role in British life and the economy and this should be protected.
“Let There Be Beer will therefore continue in its mission to reignite people’s love of beer, to celebrate the dedication and passion of brewers and pub landlords up and down the country, and ultimately, work to safeguard the future of the nation’s favourite alcoholic drink.