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Complaint against Guinness upheld over Facebook post that implied 'therapeutic qualities'

Guinness said that the advertisement was a reference to the time it takes for their drink to settle.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

A COMPLAINT THAT advertising from Guinness implied the drink had ‘therapeutic qualities’ has been upheld.

This comes as part of a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) following a complaint made by charity Alcohol Action Ireland.

The advertisement in question appeared as part of a post on Diageo’s Guinness Facebook page.

A picture of Guinness being poured was shown along with the caption:

Busy day? Find a little calm in the storm.

Alcohol Action Ireland felt that this post was in breach of the code in place that governs alcohol advertising in Ireland.

What did Guinness have to say about this?

In response to this Guinness said that they “take their responsibilities towards marketing their brand very seriously and go to significant lengths to ensure that their marketing communications abide by the rules set out in the code”.

Their argument was that the “calm in the storm” tag was a reference to the “surge and settle” of the pint, rather than general relaxation.

It was also noted by the advertiser that the Facebook page had an age limit on it to make sure that it was only available to over-18s.

When asked to explain the “busy day?” tag, Guinness said that a lot of brands often use social media to engage with their customers and that posing a question helps with this.

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Complaint upheld

In response to Guinness the ASAI Complaints Committee said that it did not accept Guinness’ reasoning behind its Facebook post, and said that it felt the message had inferred that drinking Guinness could help someone relax after a long day. 

As such, the company has been ordered not to use the advertising in its current form again.

Read: The Guinness brewery just opened this brand new ‘experimental’ bar

Also: Guinness is going vegan by removing the fish guts (wait, the fish guts?)

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