Brewery denies responsibility for Facebook sex ad

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Camerons said its reputation had been unfairly tarnished by a false association with the banned advert
Camerons said its reputation had been unfairly tarnished by a false association with the banned advert

Related tags Advertising

A brewery boss has complained to this website his firm’s reputation had been unfairly tarnished by a Facebook advert banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for foul language, sexual references and drunkenness.

Camerons brewery boss Yousef Doubooni told the banned advert was the responsibility of the brewery’s tenant not his firm.

The ASA ruled on July 30 that the Facebook advert attributed to Camerons Brewery, trading as the bar Trocaderos South Shields, should not be reused, following complaints about a swear word and invitations to drunkenness and promiscuous sexual behaviour.

“The ad must not appear again in its current form,”​ said the ASA. “We told the advertisers not to use offensive language, encourage excessive drinking or link alcohol with sexual activity.”

‘The tenant has apologised’

But Doubooni insisted responsibility lay with the tenant. “The statement made on their website came directly from the tenant and not an employee or representative from Camerons,” ​he said. “We had not spoken with the ASA about this issue before today ​[July 30] and discussion held previously were between the ASA and the tenant in Trocaderos. Rightly, the tenant has apologised for this and has removed it from his social media site.”

Doubooni make it clear the brewer was not challenging the ruling itself but the statement made on the advertising watchdog’s website which “seems to indicate Camerons was responsible for the advert”​, he said.

The tenant runs Trocaderos independently and is not an employee of Camerons Brewery. The tenant is responsible for the advertising and promotions on the tenant’s website and social media content, said Doubooni.  “Following this incident we will be issuing a social media and responsible advertising guide to all of our tenants within our retail pub estate.”

‘You can understand our frustration’

“Our main issue is the fact we are being mentioned as the people responsible for making this advert and this is not fair as we had nothing to do with this. I hope you can understand our frustration.”

But 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.”

The advert featured a poster with an image of two women 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!”

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, references to being drunk at Trocs and waking up in someone else’s bed combined with an image of women drinking large alcoholic drinks, clearly and irresponsibly linked the excessive consumption of alcohol with sexual activity.

The ASA said it had received an apology for the advert​. An apology was also made to the charity.

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1 comment

having fun or being happy?

Posted by Anthony Green,

hey fellow Brits, you do know that it's OK to have fun without getting blind drunk, don't you? It seems to me that so many people seek to blame their own promiscuity on the demon drink, whereas they would probably be a lot better off just being happy about being promiscuous, wouldn't they? And sex is a lot more fun when you are sober or after a couple of glasses... Go and take a look at the Dutch or the Spanish or Italians or at so many other nations around the world if you need further proof!
The advert preys on the temptation to shift responsibility for one's actions outside oneself, which is always a recipe for disaster, isn't it? In any case I'd like to congratulate the ASA in this case.

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