Captain Morgan ad banned for suggesting that alcohol can increase men's confidence

AN ADVERT for a brand of rum sold by drinks brand Diageo has been banned because it implied consumption of alcohol can increase confidence.

The telly ad depicted a party on a sailing ship and a man, with the face of the Captain Morgan character superimposed on his own, as he danced, flipped a sofa over and swung on a rope between decks.

Alcohol Concern complained the advert suggested drinking alcohol could contribute to the consumer’s popularity or confidence, and implied that the success of any given social occasion depended on the presence of alcohol.

Diageo launched back, claiming the advert emphasises the attitude the brand “embodies”, of camaraderie, spending time with friends and taking full advantage of life.

The company maintained that no alcohol was filmed in the party scenes, insisting there was nothing to suggest those at the party had consumed or would go on to drink alcohol.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) discarded this view, saying audiences were likely to conclude the protagonist’s outgoing behaviour resulted from his consumption of Captain Morgan rum.



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In a statement, the ASA said: "Although the ad did not explicitly depict drinking alcohol as resulting in a change in the central character's behaviour in a 'before and after' scenario, we considered that the superimposed Captain Morgan face implied that he had already consumed the product and thus linked his confident behaviour to this consumption.

"We concluded that the ad implied that drinking alcohol could enhance personal qualities and was therefore irresponsible."

The ASA ruled that the advert must not appear on telly again in its current form, and told Diageo not to imply alcohol could enhance confidence again.

Speaking on the ruling, Julie Bramham, European marketing director for Captain Morgan, said: "Whilst we are pleased that the ASA chose to not uphold part of the complaint, we disagree with their interpretation on the rest of the ruling.

"No alcohol was pictured and the Captain Morgan face was designed to represent the brand as a whole and not intended to be linked to the consumption of alcohol."

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