Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
An ad for Koosday Events club nights in Newcastle, placed on a car bonnet by Uni Car Ads. The ad featured an image of a scene from the film 'Wolf of Wall Street' in which Leonardo DiCaprio was seen slumped against the outside of a car with one leg inside it and the car door open. Text stated "'I DON'T WANT TO DIE SOBER' - Jordan Belfort" and "EVERY WEDNESDAY Florita's, House of Smith & Madame Koo #KOOSMADEMEDOIT".
1. The complainant, who believed the ad linked alcohol with driving, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.
2. The ASA challenged whether the ad, placed on cars belonging to university students and therefore likely to be seen by other students when parked at a campus, encouraged excessive drinking and was therefore irresponsible.
1. & 2. Koosday Events Ltd said the ad had been prepared by a designer and forwarded directly to Uni Car Ads without having been seen by Koosday Events. They said the ad campaign, which they had not paid for, had ended a number of months ago and that the ad should therefore no longer have been appearing. They therefore believed they should not be held accountable for the content of the ad.
Uni Car Ads said that following notification of the complaint they had taken action to remove the ad as soon as possible. They said they understood the issues raised and would ensure that in future they monitored ads more carefully to ensure they complied with the Code.
1. & 2. Upheld
Koosday Events said they had not seen the ad in question before it appeared. However, the ASA understood it was prepared by a designer engaged by them, and considered that as the advertiser, Koosday Events was responsible for ensuring their ads complied with the Code. The film still of Leonardo DiCaprio slumped against the outside of a car with one leg inside it in combination with the text "'I DON'T WANT TO DIE SOBER' - Jordan Belfort" clearly implied that he was in an intoxicated state. We considered that the ad therefore linked the consumption of alcohol with driving, and that the quote and further text "#KOOSMADEMEDOIT" implied that drinking to excess was daring and desirable. The CAP Code stated that ads must not encourage consumers to drink and drive or link alcohol with driving or with daring behaviour. We therefore concluded the ad was irresponsible and breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not encourage consumers to drink and drive. Marketing communications must, where relevant, include a prominent warning on the dangers of drinking and driving and must not suggest that the effects of drinking alcohol can be masked.
(Harm and offence) and
Marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that is likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise. For example, they should not encourage excessive drinking. Care should be taken not to exploit the young, the immature or those who are mentally or socially vulnerable.
Drinking alcohol must not be portrayed as a challenge. Marketing communications must neither show, imply, encourage or refer to aggression or unruly, irresponsible or anti-social behaviour nor link alcohol with brave, tough or daring people or behaviour.
Marketing communications must not link alcohol with activities or locations in which drinking would be unsafe or unwise.
Marketing communications must not link alcohol with the use of potentially dangerous machinery or driving. Marketing communications may feature sporting and other physical activities (subject to other rules in this section; for example, appeal to under-18s or link with daring or aggression) but must not imply that those activities have been undertaken after the consumption of alcohol. (Alcohol).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Koosday Events Ltd to ensure future ads were responsible, and did not link alcohol with driving or daring behaviour or encourage excessive drinking.