A £2m advertising campaign supporting a cannabis oil-infused rum brand has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority following a complaint from the Scottish government that it likened the drink to an illicit drug.
Dead Man’s Fingers launched on a high earlier this year thanks to its signature ingredient of natural hemp and CBD (cannabidiol), both legal ingredients found within the cannabis plant.
The Cornish brand promoted its edgy claim to fame with an image of a skull puffing a joint complete with a hat embossed with a cannabis leaf print and was supported by a number of Instagram messages reinforcing this link with lines such as ‘Coming to a joint near you’, ‘Warning: our hemp rum might cause the munchies’, ‘Chilled, man’.
Of particular concern was the use of the phrase ‘It will quite literally blow your mind’ which the authorities deemed to equate alcohol consumption with the brain-altering qualities of the well-known plant.
A Scottish government spokesperson said: “The Scottish government is committed to protecting children and young people from the impacts of alcohol marketing and advertising. We plan to consult on a range of measures to restrict alcohol marketing in 2020.”
The ASA dismissed an additional complaint that the adverts were likely to appeal to teenagers.