Friday Feels … more like Friday Woes
The ASA upheld a ruling that Quick Commerce Ltd’s electronic poster for Zapp, a grocery delivery service, which showed a bottle of gin, two bottles of tonic water and a lime with the text printed ‘Friday Feels – in minutes 24/7’ was a breach of the CAP Code rule 18.7 relating to Alcohol.
The complainant believed that the ad suggested alcohol had therapeutic qualities and was capable of changing a person’s mood.
Quick Commerce Ltd argued that the phrase ‘Friday Feels’ reflects the association harboured by many people in Zapp’s key demographic of Fridays being the beginning of the weekend and drinks with friends. The company argued that they understood the phrase to be a reference to evoking an emotional response with no connation to alcohol being mood altering in any way. Clear Channel stated their terms and conditions required that the advertisers themselves were responsible for compliance with relevant codes and advertising laws. They did not believe it was their responsibility to decide whether a particular campaign was suitable for publication.
The CAP Code requires that marketing communications must be socially responsible and must not imply alcohol is capable of changing moods. The ASA considered that although the ad appeared on Fridays only, the prominent focus on a bottle of gin in conjunction with the text was suggestive of alcohol accelerating the feeling of relaxation at the end of the working week, on a day associated with socialising in the evening. The reference to ‘24/7’ alongside a picture of gin and tonic bottles only, could be taken to mean this feeling of relaxation could be achieved at any time of the day by drinking alcohol. Thus, the ad implied alcohol was capable of improving and changing moods and so the ASA concluded that it was a breach of the CAP Code rule 18.7.
This ruling highlights the importance of ensuring that promotions run by brands relating to alcohol need to be carefully considered in line with the CAP Code such that they must not imply that alcohol has therapeutic, mood changing or enhancing qualities. If there’s ever alcohol about, tread with CAUTION!