Kronenbourg wins battle to advertise its French roots after ad ban

Kronenbourg has won an appeal against the ad watchdog's decision to ban a TV ad starring Eric Cantona, which was originally censured for emphasising the beer's French connections.

Sir Hayden Phillips, the independent reviewer of the Advertising Standards Authority, has ruled that there were "significant flaws" in the initial banning of the ad in February

The campaign was initially banned for associating the beer with France, when it is brewed in the UK and the majority of the hops in the recipe are grown outside France.

Phillips has overturned the ban because of the presence in the beer of the Strisselspalt hop, which is from the Alsace region in France and one of several hops used to create Kronenbourg 1664.

The ad watchdog is now satisfied that consumers would understand the association with France in the context of the ingredients used, rather than the location of production.

Heineken UK, the company that brews the beer is now free to continue using the ads without amendment if it wishes.

Jacco van der Linden, marketing director at Heineken UK, said: "Whilst we fully recognise and support the complaints process operated by the ASA as a hugely important part of effective self-regulation, in this particular case, we felt very strongly that the decision to rule against us was simply wrong and would set some unintended precedents for future advertising.

"In practice, this means that we can continue to draw attention to Kronenbourg 1664's rich heritage from its origins in the Alsace, and the important role of the Strisselspalt hop in creating the beer's unique taste."

The Kronenbourg brewery is planning an ad campaign this autumn  in order to celebrate its 350th anniversary.