Ad description

A paid for Facebook ad, seen on 26 June 2023, showed rum being poured into a glass and splashing over the sides. It stated, “Pirates drink because it’s hard to find a reliable therapist on the open seas, and rum is cheaper than a shipful of parrots with good listening skills”.


Two complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it implied that drinking alcohol could overcome problems and had therapeutic qualities.


Pirate’s Grog Rum Ltd said the ad was clearly intended to be fun, humorous and fictitious and was targeted at adults who would understand that it was a light hearted joke and not to be taken literally. They did not believe the ad implied that alcohol could solve problems or undermine the value of a psychologist.



The CAP Code required that marketing communications must be socially responsible and must not imply that alcohol had therapeutic qualities or that drinking alcohol could overcome loneliness or other problems.

The ad stated that, “Pirates drink because it’s hard to find a reliable therapist on the open seas”. We acknowledged that those who saw the post would understand it was intended to be light-hearted and humorous. We nonetheless considered it presented drinking alcohol as a solution for problems in life which might include mental health concerns, which could be treated by talking therapies, and that it implied that alcohol had therapeutic qualities.

We therefore concluded the ad was irresponsible and breached the Code.The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 18.6 and 18.7 (Alcohol).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Pirate’s Grog Rum Ltd to ensure that in future their ads did not imply that alcohol could overcome problems or had therapeutic qualities.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

18.6     18.7    

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