Let There Be Beer ad banned for breaking alcohol rules

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a beer ad for the Coalition of UK Brewers after finding it broke the rules by implying alcohol made people popular and was important for social success.

The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council complained that the ad – created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and given the green light by Clearcast before it aired – implied that alcohol made people popular or confident, was a key component of social success, could overcome problems and changed people’s mood or behaviour.

The ASA agreed with the YAAC and held that the ad broke four sections of the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) Code.

This was despite protests from the Coalition of UK Brewers, which argued that its film was an exaggerated interpretation of the real world and celebrated, in a light-hearted way, the role that beer can play in life.

The ad featured three situations where people sought a beer. In one scene a young man meets his girlfriend’s father for the first time. In another, a woman finishes work after a hard day. The last storyline shows a man hosting a barbeque. The ad was shot in slow motion and set to ‘Climb Every Mountain’ from 'The Sound of Music'.

The young man meeting his girlfriend’s dad proved the most problematic scene. The ASA found that it implied alcohol contributed to a person’s popularity and confidence, was a key component of social success, could overcome problems and could change a person’s mood.

The storyline about a woman at work also fell foul of the BCAP Code, because it depicted alcohol as a solution to the problem of a large workload, according to the ASA.

The ASA ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

The ban comes one week after a content campaign for 'Let There Be Beer', fronted by TV presenter Tim Lovejoy, escaped censure from the ASA after complaints that it could be mistaken for programming.

The Coalition of UK Brewers comprises ABInBev, Carlsberg UK, Heineken UK, Miller Brands UK and Molson Coors Brewing Company and was formed to promote the sale of beer in the UK.

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