ASA says Diageo’s animated parrot ad ‘likely to appeal strongly to children’

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Complaint The independent Asa

Diageo's Parrot Bay ad was deemed irresponsible
Diageo's Parrot Bay ad was deemed irresponsible
Diageo has been criticised by the Advertising Standards agency for an advert featuring an animated parrot, which was judged to have a strong appeal to children.

A single viewer complained to the ASA about the Parrot Bat frozen cocktails advert, which was broadcast at 6pm on Film4. The viewer complained that the presence of a talking parrot was likely to appeal to children.

The ASA upheld the complaint, although Diageo has said it is waiting for an independent review of the judgement.

Diageo pointed out that the setting was a Caribbean beach bar and featured only adults. The company insisted the macaw character was created from the product’s logo and was based on footage of real parrot movements. It said there had been a conscious decision not to make the parrot talk and that the time slot had been picked because viewing data showed that 95% of the audience were 18 or over.

However, the ASA said the ‘slapstick humour’ of the ad – in which the parrot is frozen – and the ‘comical fashion’ in which it moved it moved its eyes was likely to appeal to children.


A statement said: “While we noted the final frame included the text "CONTAINS ALCOHOL", we considered that this was not sufficient to ensure children would not take an interest in the ad, and, instead, the "FREEZE A PARROT TODAY" slogan, which was larger and more prominent on the screen, referred back to the slapstick humour previously shown and, therefore, also represented a concept that was likely to appeal to children. Because we considered the ad, particularly the parrot character and its behaviour was likely to appeal strongly to children, we concluded the ad was irresponsible.”

Diageo was ordered not broadcast the ad again in its current form.

Ed Pilkington, consumer marketing and innovation director for Diageo Western Europe, said:  “We are disappointed with the ASA Council’s adjudication on Parrot Bay and will be appealing against the decision. We will be liaising with the ASA and will await the decision of the independent review process.”

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

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