We have ordered that an ad by a company called Koosday, a club promoter, be withdrawn with immediate effect pending the outcome of our investigation. The ad, which appeared as paid advertising on car bonnets, promoted a club night in various bars in Newcastle and prompted a complaint that it irresponsibly linked alcohol with driving.
The ad featured a man slumped against a car alongside text stating “I don’t want to die sober” and lists three bars. In light of the concerns that have been raised, as well as our own, we have taken the unusual step of having the ad withdrawn immediately. In exceptional circumstances ASA procedures under the Advertising Code allow us to take interim action and have ads amended or withdrawn pending investigation.
Alongside the complaint, we’re also challenging whether the ad encouraged excessive drinking and was therefore irresponsible, particularly because it had been placed on cars belonging to university students and was likely to be seen by other students when parked on campus.
The UK Advertising Code contains strict rules that place a particular emphasis on alcohol being promoted in a socially responsible way. We were concerned that the ad was seriously prejudicial to the general public on the grounds that it was irresponsible and harmful in linking alcohol consumption with driving and encouraging excessive drinking.
Koosday was directed to cease further publication and to remove immediately all published ads from circulation in all UK media. We also contacted Unicarads.co.uk, the company responsible for providing the ad space, to direct them to stop further placement of the ad.
Koosday has confirmed that the ad has been withdrawn and Unicarads.co.uk also confirmed its full cooperation to have the ads removed immediately from circulation.
We’ve launched a fast track investigation and will publish our findings shortly.
Please note that we understand that the bars featured in the ad were not consulted on the advertising.
Read the advertising alcohol section of the CAP Code.
Read our ‘Hot Topic’ on alcohol advertising