Hungry Horse school bag promotion earns rap from ad watchdog

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Under fire: Hungry Horse was rapped by the ASA for giving leaflets to children
Under fire: Hungry Horse was rapped by the ASA for giving leaflets to children

Related tags Alcoholic beverage

Greene King has come under fire from advertising watchdogs after promotional leaflets for a Hungry Horse site was sent out in school bags.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld a complaint from a parent of a Northampton-based primary school after a leaflet offering “£5 off and a free drink” to mark the reopening of the local Hungry Horse pub was included in their child’s school book bag.

According to the ASA, the parent challenged whether the advert, for the Sixfields Hungry Horse, was irresponsible to be aimed at children, as it included a list of alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic products in the offer.

Replying to the ASA, Greene King said it did not consider the leaflet to be an alcoholic promotion, stating the free drink offer did not expressly claim the drink was intended to be alcoholic.

However the agency upheld the complaint, saying the advert breached the rules defined for alcoholic drinks and told the company to ensure marketing communications promoting alcohol were not directed to those under 18.

In response to the ruling, a Greene King spokesperson said: “The leaflet, promoting the reopening of the Sixfields Hungry Horse in Northampton, was designed to encourage families to visit the pub. As the ASA noted in their ruling, the only reference to alcohol was included in the small print on the back of the leaflet.

“The decision was taken locally and we have reminded our pub managers that they should not be doing any local marketing activity at schools."

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