A post on the Facebook page of Suede Bar & Nightclub, seen on 19 December 2017, included an image of two full flute wine glasses with text that read “Unlimited BOTTOMLESS PROSECCO For £5”. Additional text in the post said “Join us for bottomless Prosecco between 10pm and 12am on SATURDAY NIGHT for just £5 per person”.
The complainant, who believed that the 'unlimited bottomless prosecco' offer was likely to encourage excessive consumption of alcohol, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.
Suede Bar & Nightclub did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Suede Bar & Nightclub’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that was likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise. The CAP Code also stated that marketing communications which included a promotion must not imply, condone or encourage excessive consumption of alcohol.
We noted that the offer was available for individuals from 10pm to 12am on the night before Christmas Eve in December 2017, and that it was promoted to celebrate the start of the festive period. We considered that the references to “unlimited” and “bottomless” suggested that there would be an abundance of alcohol available to be consumed in a short period of time. Given that the offer was available within the space of two hours, we considered that the ad was likely to encourage people to drink as much as they could within that short period of time. In addition, we considered that some readers might associate Christmas with celebrations that involved drinking alcohol and that by promoting an “unlimited” and “bottomless” prosecco offer to mark the start of the festive period, the ad was likely to encourage people to drink excessively during the celebrations, particularly in the context of the offer being available in a nightclub setting on a Saturday night.
For the above reasons, we considered the ad was likely to encourage excessive drinking and lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise. We therefore considered that the ad was irresponsible and breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 8.5 8.5 Promotions must not be socially undesirable to the audience addressed by encouraging excessive consumption or irresponsible use. (Promotional marketing), 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 18.10 18.10 Marketing communications that include a promotion must not imply, condone or encourage excessive consumption of alcohol. (Alcohol).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Suede Bar & Nightclub to ensure that future ads did not imply, condone or encourage excessive consumption of alcohol and lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise.