ASA bans Hooch advert for appealing to under-18s

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Joe Charman featured in a Hooch advert that was banned
Joe Charman featured in a Hooch advert that was banned

Related tags: Advertising

A Hooch advert featuring social media star Joe Charman has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after it ruled the juvenile behaviour depicted in the ad would appeal to under-18s.

Charman – who has racked up more than 1.2M Likes on his Facebook page for his short videos showing ‘stunts’ – was seen delivering bottles of the alcoholic drink Hooch to his friends by surfing across a swimming pool on an inflatable.

The video appeared on Charman’s Facebook page on June 10 2016, and featured Charman holding three bottles of Hooch by the side of a swimming pool. He then took a run up, and jumped onto the inflatable landing on his knees, and moved across the pool to deliver two of the bottles to his friends.

Advert may appeal to youngsters

A complaint was made after the accuser said the advert showed Charman – who frequently appeared in other Hooch adverts (see below) – behaving in a juvenile manner, and because he was a social media star with young people, the advert might appeal to youngsters.

Global Brands, owner of the Hooch brand, said Charman was known as “the skills guy”​, and his audience was entertained by him doing things that appeared difficult or impossible.

The ASA said the company argued: “The performances, however, did not feature juvenile or reckless behaviour.

“In the ad, Joe Charman was seeking to trade on his reputation as ‘the skills guy’, and the entertainment centred around a faked skill which was consistent with other performances the audience recognised as ‘fakes’, due to them being obviously altered with special effects.

‘Behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner’

The ASA disagreed with Global Brands’s response. The advertising watchdog said: “CAP ​[Committee of Advertising Practice] code rule 18.14 required that alcohol ads were not likely to appeal particularly to under-18s and that people shown drinking or playing a significant role in such ads should not be shown behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner.

“We considered that showing Joe Charman, who was the main focus of the ad, carrying out a stunt using a swimming pool inflatable depicted behaviour likely to be regarded as juvenile, and therefore likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s. We concluded that the ad breached the code.”

Global Brands was told the advert must not be shown again in its current form, and that future adverts shouldn’t include actors behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner.

ASA ruling on Hooch – at a glance

  • Ad featuring social media star Joe Charman banned
  • Ad showed Charman surfing across a pool to deliver Hooch to friends
  • ASA said ad appealed to under-18s for its juvenile behaviour

Related topics: Drinks, Legal

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