A Tweet on Cadbury's Twitter account and a website for Goose Island Beer Company, seen in March 2021:
a. The Tweet on Cadbury's Twitter account stated “It’s the #CremeEggGoldenGoobilee! To celebrate, we’ve partnered with our good friends @GooseIslandUK to create a Limited Edition Creme Egg beer!”, followed by a link to the product page of Goose Island Beer Company’s website. A video embedded in the Tweet showed various shots of the Creme Stout product can and a Cadbury Creme Egg, with the Cadbury Creme Egg and Goose Island Beer Company logos appearing side-by-side at the end. The can featured in the video used the Cadbury Creme Egg branding colours.
b. The website for Goose Island Beer Co., www.gooseisland.com, featured a dedicated page for the product shown in ad (a) that prominently displayed the same logos, underneath which was an image of the product.
Three complainants challenged whether the ads were irresponsible because the use of the Cadbury brand colours and the Creme Egg name was likely to appeal particularly to people under 18 years of age.
‘Mondelez Europe Services GmbH - UK Branch t/a Cadbury said the product was created as part of the 50th anniversary of the Cadbury Creme Egg and had not been marketed to people under 18 years of age, with the campaigns aimed solely at adults.
Cadbury highlighted a decision by The Portman Group Panel (TPGP) where an alcoholic beverage linked to a confectionery was found not to be appealing to those under 18 years old in and of itself. They said the present investigation was analogous with that decision since Cadbury Creme Eggs did not appeal to children in the same way that other, more child-focused confectionary did. They provided demographic data regarding purchasers of Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Cadbury’s social media accounts.
ZX Ventures t/a Goose Island Beer Co. said the use of purple, red and yellow – the Cadbury Creme Egg brand colours – was unavoidable, but highlighted the stance of TPGP on the use of bright colours in alcohol packaging. They said the purple used on their website was more muted than the usual brand colours, while the Cadbury Creme Egg logo appeared in small font and the reference to “Beer” given more prominence. Additionally, the product image, which did not feature any reference to Cadbury or Creme Egg, was the main focus of the page.
The ASA noted the TPGP decision cited by Cadbury and understood that the Panel had decided that the product was not likely to appeal more to children than adults because they had been flavoured and branded with two confectionary products that were likely to have a nostalgic, retro appeal. We understood that, although the products in question were not Cadbury products, Cadbury believed that decision was analogous to this complaint on the basis that the ads under investigation had nostalgic appeal to older consumers.
We assessed the ads under the CAP Code. The CAP Code stated that alcohol ads must not be likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. Therefore, alcohol ads could not appeal more to under-18s than they did to over-18s.
We noted that Cadbury Creme Eggs were still available, and widely sold. We considered the product and branding were unlikely to be associated with a particular sense of nostalgia amongst adults or seen as a ‘retro’ product unfamiliar to children.
We noted that the video in ad (a) featured frantic music and a computer-generated image of a candle, along with the bold and vibrant brand colours of Cadbury Creme Egg. We also noted that ad (b) featured the same bright brand colours along with confetti and streamers. We considered that while the colours used in the ads and the confetti used in ad (b) were bold and vibrant, there was nothing distinctly childlike about them, and the ads did not feature any other elements that were likely to particularly appeal to children, such as cartoonish characters or writing. We also considered that Cadbury Creme Eggs were unlikely, in and of themselves, to have been of greater appeal to children than adults. Overall, we considered that the style and content of the ads was unlikely to result in it having particular appeal for people under 18 years of age. We therefore concluded that the ads were unlikely to breach the Code.
We investigated ads (a) and (b) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 18.14 18.14 Marketing communications must not be likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. They should not feature or portray real or fictitious characters who are likely to appeal particularly to people under 18 in a way that might encourage the young to drink. People shown drinking or playing a significant role (see rule 18.16) should not be shown behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner. (Alcohol), but did not find them in breach.
No further action necessary.