A TV ad for Captain Morgan rum featuring a raucous boat party has been banned for implying alcohol can make you more confident.
The TV ad featured a party on a sailing ship with a fun-loving man who has the face of the Captain Morgan pirate logo that adorns the rum’s bottles superimposed over his own.
The man is seen dancing with friends to Chic’s Le Freak, upending a sofa and swinging on a rope from deck to deck with text saying “Captain the dance floor”, “Captain the night” and “Put your Captain face on”.
The ad ended with a shot of the Captain Morgan product range and the line “Live like the Captain”.
The Advertising Standards Authority received complaints from Alcohol Concern and a member of the public that the TV ad was irresponsible because it implied that drinking alcohol could contribute to an individual’s popularity or confidence.
Diageo, which owns the rum brand, said the ad shows enjoying a night with friends and “taking charge of a night out and staying in control”.
It said the use of the Captain Morgan face image on the main character did not symbolise alcohol consumption and no booze was shown in the party scenes at all.
The ASA said that viewers would equate the brand and the character with the rum brand.
“Viewers were therefore likely to understand that the central figure’s behaviour resulted from his consumption of Captain Morgan rum,” said the ASA.
“We considered that the use of ‘captain’ as a verb to mean being in charge or in control carried connotations of enhanced confidence, dominance, and ability to lead others.
“In that context we considered that the phrases … would be understood by consumers as invitations to achieve a confident, uninhibited attitude through consuming Captain Morgan rum.”
The ASA said that while the main character was not shown drinking “we considered that the superimposed Captain Morgan face implied that he ha
d already consumed the product and thus linked his confident behaviour to this consumption.”
The ASA banned the ad under rules relating to responsible alcohol advertising.
“We concluded that the ad implied that drinking alcohol could enhance personal qualities and was therefore irresponsible,” the ASA said.
Source: The Guardian, 31st August