The Garage on West George Street had posted two competitions on its Facebook page, alongside images of prizes, telling viewers to like and share the pictures to win a VIP Jagermeister night out and a VIP Booth and bottle of vodka respectively.
It also posted an advert for its Tuesday night out event, including an image of three young women laughing and sticking their tongues out, alongside the text “£1 DRINKS”.
It advertised another competition on its website titled “WIN A TRIP TO NEW YORK WITH SMIRNOFF GOLD!” telling readers one entry is available for every Smirnoff Gold or Applebite Gold bought.
Following one complaint, the ASA ruled that the Facebook competitions resulted in the advertising of alcohol drinks to those under 18 years of age; the women in the image for the Tuesday night out appeared to be under 25 years of age and it was implicit the drinks would include alcohol; and the promotion on its website encourage excessive drinking as participants’ chance of winning would be increased if they purchased more drinks.
It said the nightclub’s owner Beachcove should have included an age restriction on the Facebook posts, as 3% of those who had ‘liked’ its page were registered as under 18 years of age.
It therefore ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form.
Beachcove had argued that the venue was marketed to people aged 18 to 25 and it did not have control over who the ad was shared with beyond people who liked their page. It also said the promotion of its club night did not feature or mention alcohol, the competition on its website included a Drinkaware logo, and staff were trained to monitor customers so they would not be able to abuse the promotion.
Estrella beer advert
The ASA also received a complaint from the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC) regarding a television advert promoting Estrella beer from Wells & Youngs Brewing Company, which was not upheld.
The YAAC had said the advert, which showed a band performing to a group of friends who were drinking and dancing together, including one couple kissing, “encouraged irresponsible and immoderate drinking” and “linked alcohol to seduction, sexual activity and sexual success”.
However, the ASA said the dancing scenes were “brief” and the kiss was “playful and flirtatious in tone, as opposed to sexually charged”.