A Facebook post for B&M Stores, seen on 24 November 2017, included a caption which stated “Like Prosecco? Then you’ll LOVE these glasses- they can hold a FULL bottle [3 heart eye emojis]! Plus, we’ve got Prosecco in store for just £5.99 so it’s a perfect time to stock up for Christmas. TAG the biggest Prosecco fan you know!”. Embedded in the tweet was a video which showed an entire bottle of prosecco being poured into one of the glasses and text on screen which read “Introducing B&Ms Giant Prosecco Glass The perfect gift for Prosecco lovers! This glass holds an entire bottle of Prosecco So you don’t have to get up for refills Enjoy a glass with friends this festive season Please drink responsibly”.
The complainant challenged whether the ad was in breach of the Code, because it implied, condoned or encouraged excessive consumption of alcohol.
B&M Retail Ltd t/a B&M Stores said they were confident that the ad only demonstrated the product for its intended use as a wine glass and its maximum capacity to hold a bottle of Prosecco. They also stated that they had included the ‘Drink responsibly’ message at the end of the video, to ensure they were promoting responsible drinking. However, in response to the complaint they had removed the Facebook post and stated that in the future they would review all future promotional videos with their agency.
The CAP Code required marketing communications to be socially responsible and contain nothing that was likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise, including encouraging excessive drinking.
The video showed the glass being filled with an entire bottle of prosecco and text shown on screen during the video stated, “So you don’t have to get up for refills”. The ASA understood that the normal serving for prosecco was a single 125 ml glass and that the ad was therefore encouraging consumers to have six times the normal amount in one sitting. We also noted that the Chief Medical Officers’ low risk unit guidelines recommended that adults only drink 14 units of alcohol per week and that as a bottle of prosecco was roughly 8.2 units the ad was also encouraging consumers to have roughly 60% of the advised weekly units in one sitting. At the end of the ad the words “Please drink responsibly” appeared on screen. However, as it was only shown at the end of the video for a few seconds, we did not consider it sufficient to counteract the overall impression of the ad. As the ad promoted the whole bottle of prosecco being poured in to the glass and implied it was acceptable for one person to consume an entire bottle of prosecco in one sitting, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and breached the Code because it encouraged excessive drinking.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 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 B&M Retail Ltd to ensure that their future advertising did not lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise – for example, by not encouraging excessive drinking, i.e. by showing a whole bottle of alcohol with the intention it is consumed by one person in a single sitting.