Two extended TV ads that were shown in ad breaks during the programme Sunday Brunch, which was presented by Tim Lovejoy.
a. The ad began with the "LET THERE BE BEER" logo and the text "#lettherebebeer". Tim Lovejoy appeared in the courtyard of a restaurant, holding a pint of beer and presenting to camera. On-screen text, which appeared for three seconds, stated "This is an advertisement". He said, "I'm on a mission to get the nation's foodies excited by beer, and to prove to everyone that ales and lagers can be the perfect companion for a huge range of dishes."
On-screen text stated "THE BEERS" and Tim Lovejoy said, "Ever had a flavoured beer? Well these are Carling Zest and Fosters Radler, lower-alcohol lagers with a citrus twist. If I go to lettherebebeer.com, and what I do then is select beers, flavoured beers, and it actually gives me a list of suggested foods, so we've got ribs, burgers, chicken wings. Summer foods here, nice." On-screen text stated "TIME TO TASTE" and Tim Lovejoy described the flavours and taste of the beers.
The ad cut to a street scene, and Tim Lovejoy was shown approaching a pub. The on-screen text "This is an advertisement" appeared again for five seconds. Tim Lovejoy said, "This is Red Dog Saloon in Hoxton, East London. It's a place famed for using authentic American techniques to produce some of the best meat dishes around." He was then shown with the restaurant's chef, discussing what food was to be cooked.
After cooking pork ribs, Tim Lovejoy and the chef tasted the beers with the food and the text "This is an advertisement" appeared on-screen again for five seconds. Tim Lovejoy took the food and the beers to the diners in the restaurant, and various diners gave positive opinions on the beers. Tim Lovejoy said, "So if you fancy a beer to go with ribs, burgers, steaks or any meaty meal, I think flavoured lagers like these are the ones to go for."
Tim Lovejoy stated, "If you want to know more about my mission, visit lettherebebeer.com, or check us out on Facebook and Twitter." On-screen text read "Facebook.com/lettherebebeer, #lettherebebeer, www.lettherebebeer.com 18+". The "LET THERE BE BEER" logo appeared on screen again, along with the text "drinkaware.co.uk for the facts".
b. The ad began with the "LET THERE BE BEER" logo and the text "#lettherebebeer". Tim Lovejoy appeared in the courtyard of a restaurant, holding a pint of beer and presenting to camera. On-screen text, which appeared for three seconds, stated "This is an advertisement". He said, "I'm on a mission to get the nation's foodies excited by beer, and to prove to everyone that ales and lagers can be the perfect companion for a huge range of dishes."
On-screen text stated "THE BEERS" and Tim Lovejoy said, "These are today's beers - Budweiser and Fosters. They're light lagers, but what would be the ideal dish to enjoy with them? Well here's the smart bit - go to lettherebebeer.com, select beers - light lagers - then I can choose either Budweiser or Fosters and there are six examples of recipes that should be the perfect match." On-screen text stated "TIME TO TASTE" and Tim Lovejoy described the flavours and taste of the beers.
The ad cut to a seaside scene, and Tim Lovejoy was shown approaching a restaurant. He said, "So I've come to Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey to test out the theory. This place is the Tavern on the Bay and their seafood could not be fresher." The on-screen text "This is an advertisement" appeared again for five seconds. He was then shown with the restaurant's chef, discussing what dish was to be cooked.
After cooking pastrami, cured and smoked scallops with BBQ meni muscles and wild mushroom puree, Tim Lovejoy and the chef tasted the beers with the food, before taking the food and the beers to the diners in the restaurant. Tim Lovejoy said to customers in the restaurant, "Alright guys, so what I want you to do is, I want you to see if the beer complements the food."
Diners then gave positive opinions on the beers and again, the text "This is an advertisement" appeared on screen for five seconds. Tim Lovejoy said, "So there we go, I think I've proved light lager and seafood are a great match." He then listed a variety of other seafood dishes that would go well with the beers.
Tim Lovejoy stated, "If you want more information about picking the right pints to go with any kind of food, go to lettherebebeer.com, or check out the Twitter and Facebook pages." On-screen text read "Facebook.com/lettherebebeer, #lettherebebeer, www.lettherebebeer.com 18+". The "LET THERE BE BEER" logo appeared on screen again, along with the text "drinkaware.co.uk for the facts".
Four complainants challenged whether ad (a) was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication, and one complainant challenged whether ad (b) was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication, because the ads appeared during a programme about food and drink, which was also presented by Tim Lovejoy.
The Coalition of UK Brewers, which comprised ABInBev, Carlsberg UK, Heineken UK, Miller Brands UK and Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK) Ltd, pointed out that Sunday Brunch was a live studio-based show and all cooking took place in the Sunday Brunch kitchen, not on location. They noted that there was one exception to this on Grand National day, where Simon Rimmer cooked live on a branded Weekend Brunch set at Aintree racecourse. They added that Sunday Brunch had never included taped inserts of cookery in the programme, nor had it ever featured a pre-recorded report. They said the only taped inserts used were clips to support the guests or to promote future Channel Four shows, and any clips contained a Sunday Brunch logo in the corner of the screen, which the Let There Be Beer ads did not.
The Coalition of UK Brewers noted that Sunday Brunch had never featured a drinks item filmed outside of the studio, and drinks items on the show were only ever presented by the drinks expert, never by Tim Lovejoy. They said the only uses of music on Sunday Brunch were the songs played leading into and out of each ad break, and the show's theme tune playing in the background during the 'coming up in the programme' section. The music used for the Let There Be Beer ads was specially composed, was not like the Sunday Brunch theme, and played in the background throughout the majority of the ads.
The Coalition of UK Brewers said there were no plans for future broadcast of the ads, but they appeared on the Let There Be Beer website.
Clearcast agreed with the Coalition of UK Brewers' points and said the ads did not look or sound like the TV show Sunday Brunch. They noted that the Sunday Brunch programme went into the ad break in its usual way After the end of one of its sections, there was a 'playlist spot' where a music clip was played. There was then a five-second sponsorship ident to advertise Homebase's sponsorship of the show, followed by a Channel Four network ident that encouraged viewers to "Stay tuned for a special advertising feature from Let There Be Beer". They noted that in both ads, the super "This is an advertisement" appeared close to the start of the ad, and again throughout, and the Let There Be Beer logo appeared at the start and end. They also pointed out that the drinkaware.co.uk website address appeared in both, which was a feature of alcohol ads, but not the TV programming. They noted that Tim Lovejoy told viewers to "Stay tuned for the next ad break" to find out more, helping to mark out the Let There Be Beer campaign as part of the ad break, not programming. They felt that all of these features clearly separated the CUB ad from the show.
Channel Four Television Corporation agreed that the break junctions either side of all the ads, along with the material included in the ads, clearly indicated to viewers that they were ads being shown within the context of an ad break. They noted that directly before both ad breaks, one of the presenters of the show said, "After the break ..." and then described what would happen on the show after the ad break. They echoed Clearcast's point that the formatted 'end of part' 25- to 30-second clip of a music video from the Sunday Brunch playlist was a familiar device used on the lead to every ad break in the long running Sunday Brunch series.
They also cited the Sunday Brunch 'end of part' titles and musical jingle, the usual five-second 'end of part' sponsor credit for Homebase, and the Channel Four ident as evidence of advertising. They explained that this sequence appeared in reverse at the end of the ad, and said that viewers clearly understood that this kind of grammar indicated separation of editorial content from advertising, and it was deployed across many programmes by many UK broadcasters.
Channel Four said they recognised the need to reinforce to viewers that the subsequent clip was an ad, and therefore used a 10-second graphic with voice-over to make this clear. The graphic and voice-over both stated "Channel Four presents a special advertising feature from Let There Be Beer", and the Let There Be Beer logo was displayed at the end.
They pointed out that the ad itself began and ended with a prominent advertising-style logo for Let There Be Beer across the majority of the screen, and noted that the "This is an advertisement" super appeared on screen at various points in the ad. They also noted that once the programme restarted, one of the presenters said "Welcome back to Sunday Brunch Live".
Channel Four believed that the programme content either side of the ad breaks bore no relationship to the content of the ads, and the ad was filmed in an advertising style, which was different to that of the Sunday Brunch programme. They noted that Sunday Brunch was an almost wholly studio-based live programme, and the presenters were not seen in pre-recorded material or on location anywhere away from the studio. They also pointed out that the ads did not use the title, logo, set or music associated with Sunday Brunch.
The ASA noted that both ads carried on-screen text stating "This is an advertisement" at the beginning, middle and towards the end. In addition, we considered that the combination of the standard Sunday Brunch 'end of part' sequence of a music clip followed by the titles and jingle, as well as the sponsorship ident, the Channel 4 ident advising viewers to "Stay tuned for a special advertising feature" and the inclusion of the prominent Let There Be Beer logo at the start and end of the ads would make clear to viewers that they were watching advertising material. We therefore considered that it would be clear to viewers of both ads that they were watching advertising content.
We noted that some viewers were concerned about the length of the ads, the fact that they used a 'programme' format and that they were hosted by one of the presenters of Sunday Brunch, Tim Lovejoy. We accepted that the format of the ads was similar to that of cooking programmes. However, we also noted that all the complainants had recognised that they were watching advertising content. While we appreciated that the ad, like the programme, was all about food and drink, we considered that unlike Sunday Brunch, all the action took place on location, there was regular use of background music, and the ads were clearly not filmed live. We therefore deemed the content and style of the ads sufficiently different from that of the programme for viewers to be able to distinguish between them. Because we considered that the ads were clearly identifiable as advertising material, we concluded that the ads did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules
Advertisements must be obviously distinguishable from editorial content, especially if they use a situation, performance or style reminiscent of editorial content, to prevent the audience being confused between the two. The audience should quickly recognise the message as an advertisement.
The use of a title, logo, set or music associated with a programme that is broadcast on that medium needs special care. The audience should quickly recognise the message as an advertisement.
refer to themselves in a way that might lead viewers to believe they are watching a programme
(Recognition of advertising),
The ASA and BCAP reserve the right to issue directions requiring separation between certain advertisements or types of advertisement and certain programmes or types of programme for reasons or in ways that go beyond those already listed.
Those separations will usually be one of these: and 32.15.3 32.15.3 not for the duration of a programme series (Scheduling), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.