Ad description

A tweet on the @guinnessgb Twitter feed stated "A good week starts here" and featured a black and white photo of the brewery gates.


Alcohol Concern, who believed the ad implied that someone's week would be improved by drinking alcohol, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.


Diageo Great Britain Ltd believed the ad's message "a good week starts here", in conjunction with a picture of the brewery gates, would be understood by readers to be a reference to a good week of work brewing Guinness behind the brewery gates. They said the brewery gates were iconic and considered they would be understood by consumers to house the production facilities for Guinness and as a place for manufacturing Guinness, rather than consuming it. They pointed out that the ad made no reference to consumption of alcohol, did not feature a picture of the product, nor mentioned a 'social event'. As such, they did not believe that, as a standalone piece of content, it implied that drinking alcohol was a key component of a social event, implied that alcohol was indispensable or took priority in life, or portrayed alcohol as capable of changing mood or behaviour.

They stated that the tweet formed part of a bigger Guinness campaign which focused on telling the stories of the people behind the beer, such as the stories of employees at the brewery. They said the ad in question was tweeted in this context: the start of a good week of work at the brewery. They considered that followers of the @GuinnessGB Twitter feed were likely to be aware of the campaign and would understand the message of the tweet to indicate, in line with the theme of the campaign, that the brewers were proud of what they did and enjoyed their work brewing Guinness. They stated that the Guinness team had made over 20 similar tweets, since the launch of the campaign, about the people who work at the brewery and provided examples of those tweets.

Twitter stated they would not comment on the complaint, but confirmed they had not received any complaints about the tweet.


Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the ad did not feature any alcoholic drinks, the consumption of alcohol or a particular social event. We noted that the claim "a good week starts here" appeared alongside a simple photo of gates which were labelled as the St James Brewery in Dublin and considered that the Guinness brewery was clearly identifiable in the ad, and that consumers would not understand it to be a bar or other social venue where alcohol was consumed. We also noted that the photo was tweeted on a Monday.

In that context, we considered that the ad was likely to be interpreted as having a dual meaning: as an expression of opinion from those who worked at the brewery about the week of work ahead and their enjoyment of their work; and as an indication to the public that Guinness, which began its journey to them at the brewery, could be consumed as part of a “good week”. We did not consider that either interpretation equated to a statement about the effects of alcohol on a social event or on someone's mood, or as an encouragement to drink irresponsibly.

On that basis, we did not consider that the ad implied that someone's week would be improved by the consumption of alcohol and we concluded that the ad was not irresponsible or in breach of the Code.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.  (Responsible advertising),  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.    18.3 18.3 Marketing communications must not imply that drinking alcohol is a key component of the success of a personal relationship or social event. The consumption of alcohol may be portrayed as sociable or thirst-quenching.    18.6 18.6 Marketing communications must not imply that alcohol might be indispensable or take priority in life or that drinking alcohol can overcome boredom, loneliness or other problems.  and  18.7 18.7 Marketing communications must not imply that alcohol has therapeutic qualities. Alcohol must not be portrayed as capable of changing mood, physical condition or behaviour or as a source of nourishment. Marketing communications must not imply that alcohol can enhance mental or physical capabilities; for example, by contributing to professional or sporting achievements.  (Alcohol), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.3     18.1     18.3     18.6     18.7    

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