Sobering Stuff: Alcohol Marketing Body Puts Booze Brands On Ice

Sobering Stuff: Alcohol Marketing Body Puts Booze Brands On Ice

The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) has slammed several brands for dodgy marketing around alcohol.

Heist Vodka was one of the main culprits facing ABAC’s ire. Two of the brand’s ads were skewered by the body for their “overtly sexual advertising” and “alignment through criminal behaviour through the brandishing of weapons and face masks.”

Heist Vodka said that it had removed the ads and noted that its social media team had gone in a different direction.

The offending Heist Vodka ads.

The next offender was Good Luck Seltzer. ABAC took offence at its marketing of a fruit-flavoured seltzer as it “encourages people to consume the product in an inappropriate and excessive manner”.

The offending Instagram post was captioned: “New Year’s resolution: consume more real fruit 🔥.”

The post was removed upon receiving the complaint.

DoorDash also caught some flack from ABAC. In a long and extensive adjudication that started in February this year, the body found that a post from influencer Olivia White which showed her ordering watermelon-flavoured RTD Jose Cuervo Sparkling Margaritas and watermelon-flavoured Frosty Fruits, breached the code because it featured a child and the ad partnership was not disclosed — despite White tagging DoorDash.

Melbourne-based Robo Diner breached ABAC’s rules on multiple occasions for its promotions of its $1 margarita deal on Mondays through to Thursdays.

Robo Diner’s website.

In its decision, ABAC said:

“The core marketing message is that $1 margaritas can be purchased if a patron spends $20. This of itself is not a breach of the ABAC standard as the standard does not seek to regulate the price of alcohol products.

“The marketing then goes on to state there is a 5 drink limit on the number of $1 margaritas that can be purchased under the offer.

“It is at this point that the marketing message becomes problematic. The direct implication is that it is acceptable for a person to consume 5 margaritas at a single occasion. The Australian Guidelines to Reduce the Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol state that no more than 4 standard drinks should be consumed on any one day.

“Typically a margarita consists of a combination of tequila, triple sec or cointreau, lemon juice and syrup. While no alcohol content is noted in the marketing, the photograph of the cocktail appears to be a normal serving in a regular sized glass. Even if the cocktail was on the weak side, a single margarita would be reasonably assumed to equate to at least one standard drink. In fact typically five margaritas would be 8.5 standard drinks. This exceeds the Australian Guidelines and hence amounts to excessive alcohol consumption”.

Needless to say, ABAC takes its job very seriously.

Finally, Bower Hard Kombucha also fell foul of rules around drinking alcohol whilst swimming.

Part 3 (d) of the ABAC Code maintains that depictions of drinking alcohol before or during any activity that “requires a high degree of alertness or physical co-ordination, such as the control of a motor vehicle, boat or machinery or swimming” is not allowed.

Bower removed the ads on 25 March.




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