Diageo’s David Beckham Haig Club ad escapes censure

A Diageo ad starring brand ambassador David Beckham promoting its Haig Club whisky has escaped censure after charity Alcohol Concern complained it was irresponsible.

The charity said the ad for the whisky brand, which was created in conjuction with Diageo, Beckham and Simon Fuller, implied that drinking was a "key component" to the success of a personal relationship or social event.

Diageo defended the ad and said it was designed to appeal to "a stylish, sophisticated and affluent mature audience" with the adult appeal conveyed by the casting of the actors and the overall tone of the ad.

It added that the ad's Scottish Highlands setting was sombre and the mood mature, with the characters arriving in vintage vehicles.

The ASA said that while Beckham would hold "general appeal" for some children as a recently-retired footballer, the fact that he hadnt played for a UK club in over a decade meant he was unlikely to hold particular resonance for children watching the advert.

The watchdog added that consumers would recognise the use of the word Club as a reference to the name of the brand rather than a suggestion that purchasing or consuming the product would lead to social success or belonging.

Because of these reasons the ASA found no breach in its code. No further action was necessary.