Summary of Council decision:

Two issues were investigated, both of which were Not upheld.

Ad description

A TV ad, promoting Estrella beer, showed a band playing at a party, before cutting to scenes from earlier in the day. A man was shown preparing a paella for a group of friends at a villa. Various scenes showed the group enjoying an afternoon in the sun, playing table tennis, whilst drinking and holding bottles of Estrella. As the man cooked the paella, the others helped prepare additional food and the garden for dinner. At dinner the whole group was shown drinking Estrella. As evening fell the band was again shown performing to the group, who were drinking and dancing together. At the end one couple were shown kissing as the voice-over, and on screen text, stated "Mediterraneamente. Estrella".


The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC) challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because:

1. it encouraged irresponsible and immoderate drinking; and

2. it linked alcohol to seduction, sexual activity and sexual success.


1. Wells & Youngs Brewing Company Ltd stated that the ad was not targeted at a youth audience. They said the activities featured clearly took place over a full day as the viewer saw daylight and then night falling, and they believed the amount of alcohol shown was not excessive in relation to that period of time. They also highlighted that only one bottle of Estrella per adult was shown during the dinner scene, and that no dangerous or irresponsible activities were portrayed in the ad, just the preparation of a meal and the table for dinner, table tennis and dancing.

Clearcast said the ad showed a group of friends enjoying themselves whilst cooking, eating, playing table tennis, listening to music and then dancing. There was no immoderate drinking shown, no one appeared drunk, the behaviour of the group was not rowdy and beer was not consumed in an irresponsible way. They also said none of the characters could be identified as having drunk more than one beer. They highlighted that all of the characters were shown taking no more than sips and food was clearly featured as an accompaniment.

2. Wells & Youngs said the shared kiss during the party was not linked to the consumption of beer and was not portrayed in a sexual or suggestive way.

Clearcast said the entire group were clearly established as friends, and were comfortable in each other's company as they spent the day together. They considered that, in the context of the ad, the kiss at the dance would be seen as between an established couple. Furthermore, they did not believe that the kiss was a passionate one.


1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the ad included a number of brief shots of Estrella beer being held and consumed. We considered, however, that the shift from day time to nightfall made clear that the activities featured had taken place over an afternoon and evening. Therefore, whilst the impression created by the ad was that some characters had consumed a couple of drinks, we considered it was clear that they had done so over a prolonged period of time. Those drinking were shown doing so in a responsible manner, as they took occasional and controlled sips, and whilst all the characters were clearly enjoying the day and each other's company, no one appeared to be intoxicated or drinking to excess. For those reasons, we concluded that the ad did not encourage irresponsible or immoderate drinking.

On that point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules  1.2 1.2 Advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the audience and to society.  (Responsible advertising) and  19.2 19.2 Advertisements must not feature, imply, condone or encourage irresponsible or immoderate drinking. That applies to both the amount of drink and the way drinking is portrayed.
References to, or suggestions of, buying repeat rounds of alcoholic drinks are not acceptable. That does not prevent, for example, someone buying a drink for each member of a group. It does, however, prevent any suggestion that other members of the group will buy a round.
 (Alcohol), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We considered that the ad clearly established the group as good friends that were familiar and relaxed in one another's company. We noted the dancing scenes, but they were brief and we considered that they were not sexually suggestive. In addition, we considered that the kiss at the end of the ad was playful and flirtatious in tone, as opposed to sexually charged. Because of that, we concluded that the ad did not link alcohol with sexual activity, sexual success or seduction.

On that point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules  1.2 1.2 Advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the audience and to society.  (Responsible advertising) and  19.6 19.6 Advertisements must not link alcohol with sexual activity, sexual success or seduction or imply that alcohol can enhance attractiveness. That does not preclude linking alcohol with romance or flirtation.
 (Alcohol), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.


1.2     19.2     19.6    

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