Ads for a brand of alcohol shared on Ellie Goulding’s Facebook page have been banned after the singer claimed the drink was low in calories and contained no sugar.
The Love Me Like You Do singer, founder and co-owner of Served Drinks, posted two ads for the alcoholic sparkling water on her Facebook page in February.
“If you’re like me, you enjoy a drink but also enjoy an active lifestyle. My delicious alcoholic sparkling water is the best of both worlds,” the former said.
The second read: “You know, I like a drink, but I also care a lot about my well-being. Since I launched my alcoholic sparkling water, I can’t go back!”
A video showed Goulding saying, “I love having a drink because I talk about it a lot on my social media, but I also care about my health… That’s why I want to tell you about my new drink Served. So my new Servi drink is hard seltzer water, it has 57 calories…”
Additional text in the posts read: “57 cals…4% vol.”
A separate email from Served Drinks, seen on January 18, read: “Forget about dry January… Is dry January getting a little dry?” , 0g sugar and 4% ABV and are the perfect choice for a drink without all the guilt.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 21 complaints about the brand’s advertising, including that the calorie and sugar content claims were nutrition claims which are not permitted for alcoholic beverages, and that the declaration of Goulding that she enjoys a drink while having an active lifestyle and caring about her well-being are general health claims that are also not permitted for alcoholic beverages.
Some complained that the email announcement suggested that drinking alcohol might be essential and could overcome boredom by encouraging people to break Dry January.
Served Drinks said it understands advertisers are permitted to provide factual information about the nutritional content of their products, including caloric content, provided there is no suggestion that the drink has the particular beneficial property of be low in calories.
They said the posts on Goulding’s Facebook page were intended to describe her lifestyle and what’s important to her and could not reasonably be interpreted as relating to the product itself, and were therefore not claims of general health.
The ASA said: “Because the advertisements included nutrition claims that the product was low in calories and contained no sugar, which was not permitted for alcoholic products, we concluded that they violated the Coded.”
He ruled that the three advertisements should no longer appear in their current form, adding: “We have told Served Drinks not to make health claims, or unauthorized nutrition claims, on alcoholic beverages or imply that alcohol could overcome boredom in their advertising.”
Served Drinks said: “We are committed to responsible advertising and we work closely with organizations such as CAP (the Advertising Practices Committee) in the development of campaign materials.
“While we are disappointed that the complaints were partially upheld, we respect the ASA’s decision. All advertisements have been removed immediately and will no longer feature.”
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