A flyer, for the Mixtape Project, a student event at a bar, featured a cartoon of a man in a top hat holding up what appeared to be a tankard of beer. A speech bubble beside the man stated "SOMETIMES TOO MUCH DRINK IS BARELY ENOUGH!". The reverse of the flyer stated "VODKA + MIXER £2 JAGER/SAMBUCA £2 SAN MIGUEL (CANS) £2.20 RUM + GINGER £2.80 REDSTRIPE (CANS) £3.20". The flyer was distributed in a students' hall of residence.
The complainant challenged whether the ad encouraged irresponsible alcohol consumption amongst students.
Magicfly Ltd t/a Taking Liberties considered the ad did not encourage excessive drinking or lead people to adopt an unwise style of drinking and was therefore compliant with the Code. They said the quotation "SOMETIMES TOO MUCH DRINK IS BARELY ENOUGH!" was made by Mark Twain. They said there was no reference to alcoholic drinks alongside that quotation and said there were no drinks offers or discounted drinks on offer. They said the drinks menu was included on the reverse of the flyer for reference only.
The ASA noted the ad featured a cartoon of a man holding what appeared to be a tankard of beer and included a speech bubble that stated "SOMETIMES TOO MUCH DRINK IS BARELY ENOUGH!" In the context of an ad that promoted a student event at which alcoholic beverages were available for sale, we considered the presentation of the ad implied that an excessive amount of alcohol may not be sufficient. We therefore considered the ad encouraged irresponsible alcohol consumption amongst students.
On that basis, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society. (Socially responsibility) and 18.1 18.1 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. (Alcohol).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Taking Liberties to ensure ads did not encourage irresponsible alcohol consumption in future.