Diageo has been reprimanded for an “irresponsible” TV advertising campaign for Captain Morgan rum and banned from showing it again in its current form.
The ad featured a party on an old sailing ship. A man with Captain Morgan’s face, from the advertiser’s logo, superimposed over his own was shown dancing, upending a sofa, and swinging from a rope.
Alcohol Concern and a member of the public challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it implied that drinking alcohol could contribute to an individual’s popularity or confidence.
The complaint was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
It said: “Viewers were likely to understand that the central figure’s behaviour resulted from his consumption of Captain Morgan rum.
“We also noted that the man was shown dancing in an uninhibited way, posing triumphantly at the bow of the ship and acting in a mischievous manner, which we considered suggested confidence.
“We considered that this impression was reinforced by the image of Captain Morgan products that appeared on screen at the end of the ad alongside the message ‘live like the captain’ which directly invoked the name of the product in a context of confidence.”
A second complaint, that the ad implied that the success of a social occasion depended on the presence or consumption of alcohol, was not upheld.
Diageo said that the ad was part of a campaign to raise awareness of the Captain Morgan brand and emphasise the attitude that it embodied – one of camaraderie, enjoying time with friends and living life to the full. It said that the Captain Morgan face, superimposed on the central figure, was intended to embody the brand and its attitude and did not symbolise alcohol consumption.