A TV ad for Heineken’s Strongbow cider has avoided a ban from the Advertising Standards Authority after a viewer complained it implied that alcohol could be used to enhance success.
Created by St Lukes, the ad featured a montage of clips showing men in high-pressure situations such as winning a game of snooker, reading a groom’s speech and scoring a goal. The ad culminated with the snooker shot being taken and won, the speech being delivered to applause and the goal being scored. The men then celebrated with a pint of Strongbow and the final frame of the ad featured an image of the product and text stating "EARN IT".
The complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because they believed it implied that drinking alcohol could be used to overcome problems, enhance personal qualities and improve performance.
Heineken said the ads only presented Strongbow as a reward for completing the featured task and believed there was no suggestion that the characters had consumed alcohol beforehand.
The ASA agreed and concluded that although the ad suggested the drink had been 'earned' by the characters achieving their goals, the ad did not show alcohol as the intended reward for success.