Close Menu

Conor McGregor Budweiser ad banned

A new Budweiser ad starring fighting phenomenon Conor McGregor has been banned by Ireland’s advertising watchdog out of fears it promotes underage drinking.

UFC champ Conor McGregor (Photo: Wiki)

Budweiser’s ‘Dream Big’ commercial shows the UFC superstar walking through his home town of Dublin before he appears in America, telling viewers “never give up on your dream”.

Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE ruled that the ad may be in breach of advertising standards.

It submitted the ad for review by Ireland’s advertising watchdog, Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland, which confirmed it would breach its rules over promoting irresponsible or underage drinking.

Budweiser has since hit back, saying it was proud to have McGregor as its ambassador and featuring him wasn’t an incentive for young people to drink.

It also hasn’t stopped people viewing the ad online, where it has already been watched over half a million times since 7 March.

Paul Mulligan, head of operations at RTE Commercial Television said: “RTE Television received finished commercials for Copy Clearance for Budweiser featuring Conor McGregor.

“RTE’s Clearance Committee, who are responsible for pre-vetting all commercials planned for broadcast on our services, responded that they had concerns whether the copy was compliant with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) Code.

“We requested that the copy be submitted to the ASAI for a view.

He added: “RTE, as a compliant media, has sought a view from the ASAI. That view has now been given that the advertising breaches section 9.7 of the ASAI Code.

“This complies with RTE’s initial view that the advertisement should not be broadcast and believes it took the correct and prudent action in not approving the commercials for broadcast on its Television services.”

However, Budweiser has since released a statement saying: “Conor is an aspirational figure for people who wish to follow their dreams and ambitions.

“Based on independent statistical research, Conor McGregor has an overwhelming adult appeal.”

Budweiser’s rival Heineken has also weighed in on the fight, saying: “We would not, and should not, use anyone in our ads who would appeal to underage drinkers”, the Irish Sun reports.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No