April Fool’s ‘hiccup’ falls flat for brand marketing

Facebook giveaway alluded to drinking game; Advertising Standards Authority complaint laid

Facebook giveaway alluded to drinking game; Advertising Standards Authority complaint laid

A promotion by Harvest Cidery’s distributor for the Scrumpy brand has led to a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Winemaking and brand marketing company Treasury Wine Estates’s (TWE) Facebook post alluded to a drinking game. TWE offered Scrumpy-branded packing tape as a social media giveaway. The advertisement encouraged followers to watch out for how they could “get their mitts” on the giveaway.

“This is clearly alluding to the game ‘Scrumpy hands’ where Scrumpy is taped to the hands and must be finished before the bottle can be removed,” the complainant wrote.

The use of a winking emoji (face symbol) in the post further confirms this, the complainant wrote. This was in “clear violation” of ASA guidelines. The person who laid the complaint with ASA was concerned the product giveaway could have alluded to the drinking game “Scrumpy hands” and be seen to promote irresponsible drinking.

In response to the complaint, TWE “took quick action” to remove the post and the complaints board ruled the matter was settled. The advertisement was a single Facebook post on April Fool’s Day and was not intended to be taken literally, a TWE spokesperson said. The post was not intended to cause offence, controversy or to stimulate criticism.

“We are committed to the responsible marketing of the Scrumpy brand, and will certainly be more vigilant in this area in future.”

The April Fool’s Day gag was an unfortunate hiccup by Harvest Cidery’s marketing team, said the company’s general manager, Hamish Jackson.

“We do promote responsible drinking and we enjoy the support of our community.”

This story has been amended, May 17, 2017.

It was a complainant’s comment to the Advertising Standards Authority that a brand marketing company’s form of promotion for an alcoholic product was “in clear violation of ASA guidelines", not not the finding in the authority’s report itself as the story originally implied.

The ASA has made no determination on whether the promotion violated their guidelines.

A promotion by Harvest Cidery’s distributor for the Scrumpy brand has led to a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Winemaking and brand marketing company Treasury Wine Estates’s (TWE) Facebook post alluded to a drinking game. TWE offered Scrumpy-branded packing tape as a social media giveaway. The advertisement encouraged followers to watch out for how they could “get their mitts” on the giveaway.

“This is clearly alluding to the game ‘Scrumpy hands’ where Scrumpy is taped to the hands and must be finished before the bottle can be removed,” the complainant wrote.

The use of a winking emoji (face symbol) in the post further confirms this, the complainant wrote. This was in “clear violation” of ASA guidelines. The person who laid the complaint with ASA was concerned the product giveaway could have alluded to the drinking game “Scrumpy hands” and be seen to promote irresponsible drinking.

In response to the complaint, TWE “took quick action” to remove the post and the complaints board ruled the matter was settled. The advertisement was a single Facebook post on April Fool’s Day and was not intended to be taken literally, a TWE spokesperson said. The post was not intended to cause offence, controversy or to stimulate criticism.

“We are committed to the responsible marketing of the Scrumpy brand, and will certainly be more vigilant in this area in future.”

The April Fool’s Day gag was an unfortunate hiccup by Harvest Cidery’s marketing team, said the company’s general manager, Hamish Jackson.

“We do promote responsible drinking and we enjoy the support of our community.”

This story has been amended, May 17, 2017.

It was a complainant’s comment to the Advertising Standards Authority that a brand marketing company’s form of promotion for an alcoholic product was “in clear violation of ASA guidelines", not not the finding in the authority’s report itself as the story originally implied.

The ASA has made no determination on whether the promotion violated their guidelines.

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Mark Hanna - 6 months ago
This article seems to confuse the complaint with the ASA's decision a little bit. I've had a look at the decision document published by the ASA, where the complainant is quoted in the decision document as saying "This is in clear violation of ASA guidelines". But the ASA themselves did not say this. As the complaint was settled by the advertiser's response to the complaint, the ASA didn't make any determination of whether or not it violated their guidelines

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