Top drinks industry marketing campaigns and news: September-October

Gin advert banned for linking alcohol and mountain climbing

An advert for a Scottish gin brand has been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for linking alcohol consumption with mountain climbing.

The advert for Trossachs Distillery’s McQueen Gin was broadcast on 19 June this year, and featured three people walking in the Scottish Highlands.

A wetsuit-clad member of the group was then shown diving into a loch, while another scene showed the trio helping each other to reach the top of a crag. It finished with a shot of a bottle with the Scottish Highlands in the background, with the text “McQUEEN – Adventurous Scottish Spirit ‒ #distilledtobedifferent”.

The advert was accompanied by a voice-over, stating: “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.”

Defending its decision to air the ad, Trossachs Distillery said it was “fully aware” of its responsibilities as an alcohol company, and had sought guidance from Clearcast, an organisation which vets adverts before they are broadcast to the public.

Clearcast had stated that the advert had abided by the advertising code of practice and Trossachs added that it did not believe the ad to be irresponsible.

In its ruling, Clearcast had said that the advert portrayed “stylised activities that tied in with the brand’s identity, ingredients and product rather than any significant feats”.

The organisation added that the people where shown walking up a gentle incline along a marked hiking trail, while the swimmer was depicted “diving safely”.

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