Carlsberg and vlogger Spencer FC dodge ad censure

Carlsberg and vlogger Spencer FC dodge ad censure.

Carlsberg has been cleared to run promotions with Spencer FC after the advertising watchdog rejected a complaint that a recent ad it ran on the vlogger’s channel irresponsibly targeted teenagers.

The brewer was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a complainant claimed Spencer FC’s channel is popular among people under 18 years of age, who would consequently be illegally encouraged to like the beer brand even though they are too young to buy it.

The ad in question appeared in a video the vlogger ran during the European Championships earlier this summer, and featured a sales promotion Carlsberg ran to win tickets to an England match. Text underneath the ad stated “To enter England vs Russia tickets giveaway, RT this tweet & follow @carlsbergUK:…”

Carlsberg defended the ad, arguing that it did not feature any irresponsible content such as consumption of alcohol or reference drinking styles that are unwise or irresponsible. The video was not age-gated due to the fact that it was not required by alcohol advertising rules and “did not represent industry practice in this field,” claimed the Danish brewer.

It revealed that it had asked Spencer FC for the demographic data on its subscribers to ensure that it would not target teenagers unable to purchase alcohol. The data revealed that most (85 per cent) of the channel’s followers were over the age of 18. Carlsberg also attempted and ultimately failed to find a tool that could identify the ages of those individuals who chose not to log in to view videos on YouTube, proof it claimed that it had “checked all available data”.

The ASA took into account Carlsberg’s use of the demographic data before running the promotion and said there was no reason to believe that there would be a “significant difference” between the demographic profile of Spencer FC’s subscribers, those logged into YouTube and those who did not sign-in.

“Although we acknowledged that it would be of appeal to some under 18s we did not consider that it would be of greater appeal to them than those in the target demographic of adult football fans, ruled the watchdog, noting that “in general the channel content did not focus on themes likely to be of particular appeal to under 18s, did not feature under 18s (with this promotional video not featuring anyone aged under 25), and were dialogue heavy”.

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