Gin advert banned for linking alcohol with mountain hiking

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ads should not imply that physical activities are undertaken after drinking alcohol, says the ASA. Stock picture: getty/5PH
Ads should not imply that physical activities are undertaken after drinking alcohol, says the ASA. Stock picture: getty/5PH

Related tags: Alcohol, Uk, Gin

An advert for a Scottish gin brand, which depicted a group drinking gin after reaching a mountain peak, has been banned by the UK’s advertising watchdog.

The advert for McQueen Gin showed three people walking and climbing in the Scottish Highlands, interspersed with scenes and the sound of a drink being made with berries, lime and ice.  The group ascended to the top of a rocky peak, where they then consumed a gin and tonic.

The voice over during the ad stated: “Choose to explore; choose diving into something new; choose taking a different direction; choose nature and its elements; choose bringing your friends to the top; choose a drink full of adventure; choose McQueen Gin, adventurous Scottish spirit.”​ 

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the ad after a complainant challenged whether it was irresponsible to link alcohol with mountain climbing.

‘Adventurous Scottish Spirit’

Trossachs Disillery Ltd, t/a McQueen Gin, was founded in 2015 in Callander, the ‘gateway’ to the Scottish Highlands.

Clearcast, the organisation which clears ads for broadcast, said it was satisfied that the advert portrayed activities that tied in with the brand’s identity, rather than demonstrate any significant physical feats.

BCAP code 19.13

“Adverts may feature sporting and physical activities... but must not imply that those activities have been undertaken after the consumption of alcohol”

It highlighted that there was no implication of alcohol being consumed during the activity.

However, the ASA said the sequence of events shown in the advert implied that the group would have to make their way back down a rocky track from the mountain peak – after the consumption of gin at the top.

“In this case, we considered the ad suggested that the activities would be undertaken after the consumption of alcohol and was therefore irresponsible. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code,”​ says the ASA in its ruling.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. 

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