Ad description

A poster ad, displayed in October 2011, featured a close-up image of a woman sitting in the passenger seat of a left-hand drive 1960s Fiat 500, with snow-covered mountains in the background. There was no driver visible. The woman was wearing a coat, fur hat, and gloves. The window of the car was rolled down half-way and the woman had written "Peroni" in the condensation on the window.


The complainant, a member of the House of Lords, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because they believed it linked the consumption of alcohol with driving.


Miller Brands (UK) Ltd (Miller) said the ad had been reviewed by their internal Sales and Marketing Responsibility Committee, which was comprised of senior staff across the business. They said the image was approved on the basis that the car was left-hand drive, stationary without a driver, and the model was in the passenger seat. They said they had amended the image so that the steering wheel was even further away from the model so it was clear that she was not in the driving seat. Miller said they also sought advice from CAP Copy Advice who said the image was likely to be acceptable.

Miller said that the requirement for responsibility in their advertising informed all their marketing decisions. They said they took particular care to depict the model as a passenger, and furthermore, that the ad displayed the Drinkaware logo and web address prominently. They said they had also considered previous ASA investigations into the use of vehicles in advertising. They said it was their understanding from previous campaigns which linked Peroni to iconic Italian vehicles that the use of a vehicle in an ad was acceptable so long as it was depicted in a responsible manner.

Miller said they did not think the poster could be interpreted as encouraging drink driving, because there was no driver and no driving was shown or implied, the model was in the passenger seat, and no drinking was shown, no drink was poured or visible, no bottle or glass was featured and there was no suggestion that the model had consumed or was about to consume alcohol.

Miller said that, whilst they believed they had complied with the CAP Code, they wished to demonstrate their commitment to discourage drinking and driving and therefore would not use the image again in their advertising.


Not upheld

The ASA noted the concerns of the complainant. However, we also noted that there was no driver visible and it was clear that the car was stationary and the model was in the passenger seat. We also noted there was no alcohol visible, and we considered there was no implication that the model had been consuming or was about to consume alcohol. We considered that although the image linked the Peroni brand with an iconic Italian vehicle, the Fiat 500, because there was no implication that the vehicle had been driven or was about to be driven by someone under the influence of alcohol, the ad did not encourage consumers to drink and drive, or link alcohol with an activity in which drinking would be unsafe. We concluded the ad did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules  1.3 1.3 Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.  (Responsible advertising),  4.6 4.6 Marketing communications must not encourage consumers to drink and drive. Marketing communications must, where relevant, include a prominent warning on the dangers of drinking and driving and must not suggest that the effects of drinking alcohol can be masked.  (Harm and offence),  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.  and  18.12 18.12 Marketing communications must not link alcohol with activities or locations in which drinking would be unsafe or unwise.
Marketing communications must not link alcohol with the use of potentially dangerous machinery or driving. Marketing communications may feature sporting and other physical activities (subject to other rules in this section; for example, appeal to under-18s or link with daring or aggression) but must not imply that those activities have been undertaken after the consumption of alcohol.
 (Alcohol), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.3     18.1     18.12     4.6    

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