Alcohol delivery service scolded by ASA over ‘unwise’ memes

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Banned: Drink Doctor is not allowed to use this meme again
Banned: Drink Doctor is not allowed to use this meme again

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Wine

A drinks company that delivers alcohol to people’s homes struck the wrong chord with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after using memes promoting “unwise” alcohol consumption.

Drink Doctor, a 24-hour Manchester-based alcohol delivery service, published four posts on its Facebook page that could encourage irresponsible drinking, according to the ASA.

Drink Doctor ads banned
In full: the meme that has been banned

Three of the posts were picture memes and the fourth a quote that said: “According to chemistry, alcohol is the solution.”

One of the memes was an image of a man drinking wine from a bottle with text stating: “People are not addicted to alcohol or drugs, they are addicted to escaping reality.”

‘The WINEing wall’

The second meme showed a man drinking wine from three bottles at once while standing in front of stacked boxes of wine and said: “In Jerusalem, there is the Wailing Wall. We have the WINEing Wall…”

In the third meme a picture of Noel Gallagher was accompanied by text stating: “I see people all the time going to therapy, thinking they’ve got a problem. What’s up with everyone get onit [sic], order a Crateman and live a little… or a lot.”

One complainant questioned whether the ads were irresponsible and if they promoted unwise drinking styles that also trivialised alcohol addiction.

However, Drink Doctor Ltd said it had attached its brand to popular memes, but conceded they could sometimes be deemed inappropriate.

Drink Doctor ads banned galagher
Banned: A second meme that has been banned by the ASA

All four of the complaints were upheld by the ASA, which claimed the posts either encouraged excessive drinking, implied drinking could help people deal with personal problems or people should ignore their drinking problems.

‘Loneliness or other problems’

It said: “The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Drink Doctor Ltd to ensure in the future that their ads contained nothing that was likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise, including by not encouraging excessive drinking, and that they did not imply drinking alcohol could overcome boredom, loneliness or other problems.”  

Alcohol delivery is a rising trend in the on-trade, following the increased use of food delivery firms such as Deliveroo.

However, there are rules and regulations that operators seeking to get into the segment must understand before doing so.

Legal experts Poppleston Allen outline the basics that need to be considered, here​.

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