After considering two complaints and evidence from the suppliers of the advert, the ASA ruled: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the advertisers not to use offensive language, encourage excessive drinking or link alcohol with sexual activity.”
The complaints concerned the posting on the TrocStars’ Facebook page. It featured a poster with an image of two women both drinking from large glasses. The accompanying text stated: “Got yourself drunk at Trocs? Woke up in someone else’s bed? Walk of shame? F*ck that, it’s the stride of pride!”
Further text stated: “It’s time for the Thursday hijack! Like and share this poster for a chance to win a free night out in Trocaderos!”
The ASA said that while the phrase “F*ck that ...” contained an asterisk, it considered it did not obscure the intended meaning. “It was still clear that it represented a swear word which would be generally regarded as highly offensive and was unlikely to be acceptable in marketing communications,” it said. “We considered the language used was gratuitous and that the term ... was likely to cause serious offence.”
Also, the text about being drunk at Trocs and waking up in someone else’s bed, particularly in combination with the image of women drinking large alcoholic drinks, clearly and irresponsibly linked the excessive consumption of alcohol with sexual activity.
“‘Walk of shame’ would be recognised by many consumers as a phrase which referred to returning home after having engaged in sexual activity the previous day and was therefore sexually suggestive and also linked alcohol with sexual activity,” said the ASA.
The ASA said it had received an apology for the advert which, it was acknowledged, could be misinterpreted.
An apology was also made to the DrinkAware.co.uk charity. The advert was removed from Facebook as soon concerns about the advert were made public.
The brewery said it operated responsible drinking in-house policies, such as the strict refusal of service where required.
Meanwhile, the brewery contacted FoodManufacture.co.uk to deny responsibility for the advertising campaign.
An ASA spokeswoman told this website: “It is usual for us to name the parent company as the advertiser responsible, and in this case Trocaderos South Shields is a Camerons Brewery pub. If Camerons Brewery disagrees with our decision, they are free to seek an independent review.”