Scottish Gin Society Meme Complaints Upheld by ASA

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Scottish Gin Society adverts contravene Advertising Standards Agency rules

Wow, edgy.

Edgy.

Social media posts made by The Scottish Gin Society (SGS) have been adjudged to break Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) rules associated with responsible drinking and claims about the nutritional merits of food and drink.

Complaints were made to the ASA by members of the public about ‘humorous’ posts that contained lines such as “Shut up liver, you’re fine! Gin?” and “I only drink on two occasions: When I’m thirsty and when I’m not thirsty.”

The SGS claim that these posts were memes, not adverts, and thus not within the ASA’s purvew, but the Agency responded that while the posts were “presented in a light-hearted tone” they “still implied that gin could help people overcome emotional problems, and treat depression and pain, and that the ads therefore suggested that gin had therapeutic qualities and could help to treat health conditions”. The posts have subsequently been removed.

The SGS have responded by suggesting the ASA be nominated for a “Humour Bypass Award”.

The real lesson here is that memes are the dumbest thing to come out of internet culture, and brands that embrace them deserve a slap in the chops.

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Editor

Andy Ives has over 10 years hospitality publishing to his name and has written for trade magazines such as CLASS and Theme. Most recently he worked as editor of Industry magazine (the Australian version of Theme), bars editor of Australian Bartender magazine, and launched (with Simon) www.4bars.com.au, which is now Australia’s leading bar industry website.

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