The advert was accused of appealing to under 18’s through its use of cartoon characters and “playful tone”.
Depicting a woman asking for a “pint of the usual” in a pub, the animation then showed the character being sucked into a beer tap and transported to a “fantasy-style” brewery tour in a bid to find a more “refreshing choice”.
Ab InBev, which has owned the London-based brewery since 2015, stated it had “reviewed” the TV ad to ensure it was not “adjacent to children’s programmes” and that the characters were styled to be portrayed as adults in a licensed public house and brewery.
While the firm acknowledged the animation “could” appeal to children, it claimed the cartoon characters were similar to those used in other adult-aimed animations and featured a “dark, earthy and dull” colour palette alongside music that was more appealing to an older audience.
However, the complainant said their young children found the advertisement engaging and challenged whether it was likely to appeal strongly to people under 18 years of age.
The ASA upheld the complaint under broadcast code 19.15, 19.15.1 and 19.15.2, which states TV alcohol advertisements must not be likely to strongly appeal to people under 18 by reflecting youth culture or including characters whose example was likely to be followed by under 18’s.
In addition, the advert must not appear again in its current form and both AB InBev and Camden Town Brewery were instructed to ensure future ads did not appeal to under 18’s.
Though Clearcast, which checks TV ads against the UK code of broadcast advertising before they are shown, stated the ad showed mature characters with adult voices, adding an ASA ruling for a previous Camden Town Brewery that was not considered appealing to under 18’s used a similar animation style to depict a talking pint.
A spokesperson from Camden Town Brewery said: “We take our role as responsible marketers very seriously, and always seek to ensure that our communications are directed only to those above the legal drinking age and are carried out in a socially responsible manner.”