Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A radio ad for Kopparberg, heard on 19 September 2021, featured a voiceover which stated, “Tonight you will meet up with your best mates.” A woman said, “Hey I missed you.” The voiceover continued, “Or some new mates.” A woman said, “Hi. I am Sarah.” The voiceover stated, “Or someone who may be more than a mate.” A woman responded, “Hey.” The voiceover said, “You’ll head off to that new bar.” A woman said, “I think it is called Ladybirds.” The voiceover said, “Or that old pub. You’ll order a cider.” A man said, “Yes I’ll have a Kopparberg please.” The voiceover stated, “Or something new.” A woman said, “Kopparberg makes vodka?” The voiceover stated, “You’ll earn a new nickname.” A woman stated, “All right Bubbles.” The voiceover continued, “You’ll hear a new song.” A man stated, “What a tune.” The voiceover stated, “You'll become a new legend.” A man stated, “To Greg!” A group responded “To Greg!” The voiceover continued, “Whatever you do make those nights at Uni one to remember. Kopparberg, to firsts that last. Drinkaware for the facts. Please drink responsibly.”
1. The complainant, who believed the ad implied that alcohol could contribute to an individual’s popularity and that drinking alcohol was a key component of social success or acceptance, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.
2. The ASA challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it featured individuals who were, or seemed to be, under 25 years of age.
1. Cider of Sweden Ltd t/a Kopparberg said the ad described a range of moments and friendly conversation on a night out with friends. They said that none of the events of the night were linked to alcohol and so the ad did not suggest alcohol contributed to social success or acceptance.
Kopparberg stated that the references to making friends in the ad were made before the group went to the pub or ordered Kopparberg.
Kopparberg explained that the line “You’ll earn a new nickname” did not imply popularity. They said nicknames were given in all circumstances of life, although it was more common when people met for the first time, and were not necessarily linked to success.
They said that the line “You'll become a new legend” was linked to the preceding reference to Greg who suggested a “new song” that the group was unfamiliar with and was unconnected to Kopparberg.
Radiocentre said that the ad portrayed a range of new experiences and places to be enjoyed at university, including ordering a cider, rather than enhancing an individual’s popularity or that the ad implied Kopparberg was linked to success or acceptance. They said that they did not believe the reference to “Greg” and “You’ll become a new legend” was linked specifically to drinking alcohol.
2. Kopparberg said that all voice over artists were picked because they were over 25 and sounded over 25.
Radiocentre said that they did not believe the voiceover artists sounded under 25 but they noted the reference to “Uni” in the ad.
The ASA understood that the ad depicted a group of friends going on a night out to a pub. While we acknowledged Kopparberg’s comments that the meeting up with friends occurred before entering the pub, we noted that the giving of a nickname, toasting Greg’s name and being labelled a “legend”, which we considered were all examples of social acceptance and popularity, happened after drinks had been ordered.
We further noted that the line “You'll become a new legend” was placed towards the end of the ad. We considered the description of the character Greg as a “legend” at the conclusion of an ad about drinking in a pub, was likely to be interpreted by listeners as an indication that his popular status was the culmination of a successful night spent drinking in a pub and was linked to drinking alcohol.
The ad concluded with “Whatever you do, make those nights at Uni one to remember. Kopparberg, the firsts that last.” We considered that the line implied that a successful and memorable evening at university was implicitly linked to Kopparberg, and the drinking of alcohol, was a key part of that success.
Therefore, because the ad implied that alcohol could contribute to an individual’s popularity and that drinking alcohol was a key component of social success or acceptance, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.
On that point, the ad breached BCAP Code rules 19.3 and 19.4 (Alcohol).
The BCAP Code required that alcohol advertisements must not feature in a significant role anyone who is, or seems to be, under 25 and must not feature children.The ad focused on the character Greg and a group of his friends on a night out and we considered that they all played a significant role in the ad.
The ad stated “Whatever you do make those nights at Uni one to remember” and we considered that listeners would therefore understand the individuals in the ad to be university students. We acknowledged that there was no set age for a university student and many who went to university were “mature” students, and we understood from Radiocentre and Kopparberg that all the voiceover artists were over 25. However, we understood that typically university students would be under 25 years old when they finished their studies and that the audience would perceive a university student, and therefore the characters in the ad, as such. In that context, we considered the ad featured people in a significant role who seemed to be under 25 years of age. We therefore concluded the ad breached the Code.
On that point, the ad breached BCAP Code rule 19.17 (Alcohol).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Cider of Sweden Ltd t/a Kopparberg to ensure that their ads did not imply that alcohol could contribute to an individual’s popularity and that drinking alcohol was a key component of social success or acceptance. We also told them to ensure that their ads did not feature in a significant role anyone who seemed to be under 25 years of age.