IRN-BRU escapes ASA scrutiny after ad draws ‘anti-English’ fire

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Still from Irn Bru's latest edgy ad
Still from Irn Bru's latest edgy ad

Related tags: United kingdom, Coca-cola

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says it does not plan to investigate nearly 70 complaints relating to a video advert for avowedly Scottish soft drink Irn Bru, following claims that the advert is anti-English.

The video, you can watch it below - or access it via this link on an iPhone​ - features a proud Scottish father clutching a can of Irn Bru, who meets his daughter’s English boyfriend – complete with England shirt, London accent and British bulldog 'Wembley' in national livery – for the first time.

The tagline ‘Irn Bru gets you through’ is central to the advert – based upon the idea that the fizzy drink helps devotees through awkward social situations – and although some users clearly dislike it, other commentators see the funny side.

YouTube comments on the video include: “I’m English and I found this funny.”“Brilliant – the banter between England and Scotland should never die.”

Another user writes: “Don't see this as anti-English, it's good humored and I think the Englishman and dog are portrayed as winning hands down and we are laughing at the over-patriotic stereotype in the arm chair. I'll drink to that.”

But detractors on the same page have written: “Rude to the English”​, the more ambivalent: “Hilariously racist – I love the fact that we can get away with s**t” ​and (on Irn Bru’s Facebook page),“Poor advert. Scots should be defined by pride in Scotland, not hatred of things from south of the border.

'Irn-Bru is enjoyed across the UK'

However, an Irn Bru spokeswoman told this afternoon that the ASA had concluded yesterday that there were no grounds for further investigation.

She added: "Irn-Bru is enjoyed by people across all parts of the UK and we certainly have not set out to cause anyone any offence.  
"Our advertising is well known for its cheeky sense of humor and this ad is no different," the spokeswoman said.We do not believe it to be racist or anti-English in anyway and indeed the positive feedback from almost everyone who has contacted us about the advert would support this."

"Nobody in the advert is portrayed in a negative way and indeed at the end of the advert everyone is friends. We

Related topics: Markets, Soft Drinks & Water

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