Ad description

A user-generated tweet which was retweeted by Au Vodka’s Twitter feed, seen on 22 May 2023, stated “@McDonalds McCafé iced frozen drinks with @AuVodka […] *Drink Responsibly & don’t drink and drive* #SummerVibes”. The post contained an image taken from the driver’s seat of two McDonald’s frozen slushies with two miniature bottles of Au Vodka inverted and sticking out of the top resting on the centre console of a car. The image also showed a person occupying the passenger seat.


The ASA challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it linked alcohol with driving.


Au Vodka Ltd said the primary aim of retweeting the user-generated content was to promote responsible and enjoyable consumption of their alcohol products to consumers of legal drinking age.

They said the placement of the drinks on the centre console of the car was a visual representation of a social setting and it emphasised friendship and camaraderie. They said it did not endorse or suggest that consuming alcohol was permissible while driving.

Au Vodka said they generally refrained from posting marketing material that showed alcohol in either of the front two seats of a vehicle, in particular when the steering wheel was shown. However, they said that because the tweet contained a prominent disclaimer which stated “Drink Responsibly & don’t drink and drive”, it discouraged any association of alcohol consumption with driving or other unsafe or illegal behaviour. They said the disclaimer reinforced the importance of responsible consumption and urged consumers to not drink and drive, which they believed avoided a breach of the CAP Code.

They said that in the interest of consumer safety, they had removed the retweeted post from their Twitter feed.

Twitter said they were unaware of having received complaints about the tweet, or any users flagging or reporting it as inappropriate.



The CAP Code stated that marketing communications that referred to alcoholic drinks must be socially responsible and must not link alcohol with activities or locations in which drinking would be unsafe or unwise. It also stated that marketing communications must not link alcohol with the use of potentially dangerous machinery or driving.

The ad contained an image that featured two frozen McDonald’s drinks with two bottles of Au Vodka inverted and sticking out of the top, which were placed on the centre console of a car. We noted the photo was taken from the perspective of the driving seat. We considered that the image implied that both the passenger and driver were likely to consume the drinks, and linked alcohol with driving. While we acknowledged that the ad stated “Drink Responsibly & don’t drink and drive”, we considered that did not override the overall impression of the ad linking the two.

We acknowledged that Au Vodka had removed the retweet from their Twitter account. However, because the ad made a link between alcohol and driving, we concluded it was irresponsible and breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 18.1 and 18.12 (Alcohol).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Au Vodka Ltd to ensure that their ads were socially responsible and that their ads did not link alcohol with driving.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

18.1     18.12    

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