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    Jack Daniel’s ad banned for promoting ‘unwise drinking styles’

    (Craig Barritt/Getty Images/File Photo)

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has on Wednesday found an advertisement by Jack Daniel’s in breach of advertising practice code, and ordered the whisky brand that the ad must not appear again.

    The regulator has received a complaint against a poster for Jack Daniel’s, seen on the London Underground on 16 November 2023.

    The ad featured a group of friends sat around a table, two of whom were pouring Jack Daniel’s and a mixer into one glass, whilst others were seen holding glasses of Jack Daniel’s. Large text stated “Shorter days mean we can skip to the good part.” Text at the bottom of the poster stated “Jack Daniel’s: Make it count.” and further text underneath that stated “Remember the good parts. Please drink responsibly”.

    The complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and breached the code because it promoted adopting drinking styles that were unwise, implied that alcohol might take priority in life, and implied that drinking alcohol could overcome boredom by encouraging people to start drinking earlier in the day.

    In its response to the ASA, Jack Daniel’s said they did not believe the ad suggested the individuals were engaging in drinking styles that were irresponsible or excessive, highlighting that the ad portrayed a social occasion amongst friends and that the alcoholic drinks featured in the ad were not excessive in number or size.

    However, the ASA said the focus of the ad was on the alcohol present with the centre of the image being two individuals who were pouring Jack Daniel’s and mixer into a glass. In addition, they found the references to ‘shorter days’ and ‘the good part’ as a promotion of excessive drinking.

    “By suggesting that “shorter days” meant consumers could “skip to the good part” of the day – in other words, the evening when it was socially acceptable for consumers to drink alcohol – the ad implied that the rest of the day was mundane and a period of time to be endured,” the ruling noted.

    “We considered “the good part” was likely to be seen as a part of the day to be given a higher priority, and that drinking alcohol could overcome the boredom of the rest of the day. Furthermore, because the ad encouraged people to start drinking earlier than they would at other times of the year, we considered that it encouraged people to consume more alcohol than they usually would.”

    As the ad found to be implying that drinking alcohol could overcome boredom and encouraging people to start drinking earlier than usual, the regulator said the ad promoted adopting drinking styles which were unwise, and breached the code.

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