Rival brewer fails to ban Heineken ad

A Heineken ad that was challenged by rival Molson Coors and members of the public for linking alcohol with talent and popularity can stay on air after the advertising watchdog rejected the complaints.

'The Entrance', a 90-second ad featuring the song 'The Golden Age' by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, was created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam.

It featured a man at a party impressing the guests with his stylish moves and martial arts skills.

Molson Coors and three viewers claimed the ad was irresponsible as it gave the impression that alcohol could enhance personal qualities and talents.

They said the ad implied the success of the party in the ad and the man's sexual success were a result of drinking alcohol. One of the viewers also believed the ad encouraged daring behaviour.

Heineken argued that the ad reflected the international nature of the Heineken brand and portrayed its drinkers as "men of the world" whose choice of beer reflected their broad experiences of travel, diverse cultures and refined tastes.

It also pointed out that the man was not shown drinking the beer in the ad, just opting to take it over a martini.

The ASA investigated the ad on six separate counts, all of which were not upheld.

It said "at no point was the main character seen drinking Heineken, there was no cause and effect between drinking Heineken and the man's qualities and talents".

The ASA rejected the complaint that alleged the ad encouraged daring behaviour because "the martial arts exchange was playful and light-hearted and that this was borne out at the end with the two characters smiling, and the main character handing over the bottle of Heineken to his opponent".