Frosty Jack's pulls 'irresponsible' user-generated videos

Frosty Jack's Cider has pulled three user-generated videos, including one featuring a young man killing a wasp, amid an ASA investigation that has also upheld a complaint that the brand appealed to under-age drinkers.

It is believed the videos had been posted on Frosty Jack's YouTube page in 2010 as part of a campaign created by Chick Smith Trott, themed on the cider's "anti-conventional" strapline.

In the "anti-wasp" video a man uses an aerosol and a lighter to kill a wasp.

Another video, titled "anti-busybody" features a man parking in a disabled space. When he is questioned by another man he says he has Tourettes and shouts "twat".

A third video, "anti-gimmicky", features a man talking about the benefits of his car in a comically exaggerated fashion.

The complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority came from a member of Alcohol Concern's Youth Alcohol Council.

The brand owner, Aston Manor Brewery, told the ASA it immediately removed the videos from the YouTube site once it was aware of the complaint.

The brand’s YouTube page is not currently carrying any video content.

Aston Manor told the ASA that Frosty Jack's online presence was not intended to appeal to under-18s and it had reviewed its activity since the arrival of a new marketing team in November 2011.

It claimed the YouTube page was created in 2009 and the majority of the content was uploaded before autumn 2010, which was before the ASA's remit was extended to cover digital marketing, but that the content posted at the time was considered by the then marketing team to ensure it met with industry guidelines.

The ASA upheld the complaint in relation to all three videos.

Gordon Johncox, sales and marketing director at Aston Manor, said: "As they reflect in their judgement, the ASA acknowledges that prior to this issue being raised with them a new marketing team at Aston Manor had instigated a thorough review of all consumer communication.

"Though ongoing that work had already identified that some material was no longer relevant and in a few isolated instances, some user generated content was inappropriate.

"In advance of the ASA judgement the content in question was removed and we are happy to adhere to the decision of the ASA.

"We are also happy to reaffirm our commitment to uphold both the letter and spirit of all relevant codes of practice and guidance on responsible marketing and communication.

"The marketing team now in place has also approached Alcohol Concern, the authors of the YACC Report, to have a closer level of engagement and dialogue."

Follow Daniel Farey-Jones on Twitter @danfareyjones

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