ASA: Stonegate Facebook posts ‘irresponsible’

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Social breach: A number of pubcos and clubs have been found in breach of strict alcohol rules set out by the ASA (Getty/ IGphotography)
Social breach: A number of pubcos and clubs have been found in breach of strict alcohol rules set out by the ASA (Getty/ IGphotography)

Related tags Stonegate Marketing Pubco + head office

Stonegate and other pubcos have broken strict alcohol rules set out by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) through encouraging excessive drinking and featuring people appearing under 25 on social media.

Stonegate was formally investigated after two Facebook posts and one Instagram post “irresponsibly” encouraged excessive drinking while also featuring people who appeared under 25 years of age, according to ASA.

A Stonegate Group spokesperson said: “At Stonegate Group, we take our responsibilities under the Advertising Code very seriously.

“We immediately removed and posts that were deemed non-compliant with the Code and we recognise that on these occasions we could have presented our promotional offers in a better way.

“A full briefing with our teams has taken place as we look to ensure we remain compliant going forward.”

Edinburgh-based City Clubs venue the Hive Nightclub also came under scrutiny after three of its Instagram posts and one Facebook post broke strict alcohol rules by encouraging excessive drinking.

Breaching rules

Montpeliers nightclub, also in the Scottish capital, also broke strict alcohol rules through a TikTok encouraging excessive drinking, showing alcohol being handled irresponsibly and featuring people who appeared under 25 years old.

It wasn’t a good week for Scotland, with Scottish hospitality group Signature Pubs also investigated after two posts on a cocktail bar’s Instagram account defied alcohol regulations through condoning and encouraging excessive drinking, while also featuring a person appearing to be under 25.

Heineken UK was also investigated this week for a poster ad and paid-for Reddit ad. However, ASA found the brewing company were unlikely to appeal to people under 18.

All venues and companies have been contacted for comment.

Red Bull investigation

In 2018, Red Bull​ were investigated by ASA yet the agency ruled they had not breached marketing guidelines for the phrase “Red Bull gives you wings”.

The complaint challenged whether this statement implied Red Bull has a beneficial impact on health, in particular, on brain function, which was a health claim that must be considered on the EU Register of nutrition and health claims made on food, according to ASA.

ASA ruled he words did not state, suggest or imply a relationship existed between any Red Bull product or one of their constituents and health.

Furthermore, the phrases “Red Bull gives you wings” and “it vitalises body and mind” were both trademarks registered before 1 January 2005, which exempted them from having to comply with the regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods until January 2022. They also provided evidence of the trademarks.

In addition, Red Bull stated both adverts were light-hearted cartoons that used a fantastical way of story-telling that should not be, and largely was not, taken literally by consumers.

Related topics Health & safety

Related news

Show more