Kronenbourg's advertising campaign starring French
footballing icon Eric Cantona has been banned. The ASA investigated two separate ads
for the same campaign; a TV ad and a print ad. The TV ad explained how
French men were lauded like "British footballers" for
growing the French sourced Strisselpalt Hop, a key ingredient of
Kronenbourg. The print ad also expressed that "if you find a
better tasting French beer, we'll eat our berets".
Two complaints suggested the ads were misleading as they imply
that Kronenbourg is brewed in France, rather than the UK. Heineken,
the owner of Kronenbourg, dismissed such claims by explaining that
the brand ownership, history, heritage and origins made Kronenbourg
an "inherently French beer" and the Strisselpalt Hop is
solely sourced from Alsace, France. In addition, Kronenbourg ads
had focused on its French origins for many years.
Breaching BCAP Code rules 3.1, 3.2 (misleading advertising), 3.9
(substantiation) and 3.10 (qualification), the ASA held that the TV
ad's emphasis on a connection to France was sufficient for
consumers to believe the entire manufacturing and brewing process
took place in France. The ASA noted that, whilst the Strisselpalt
Hop is sourced from France, it does not constitute a significant
proportion of the Kronenbourg recipe. The ASA also held that the
print ad breached CAP Code rules 3.1, 3.3 (misleading advertising),
and 3.9 (qualification), declaring that the "brewed in the
UK" small print, "contradicted, rather than clarified the
main message of the ad".
Heineken has submitted an appeal. Should the ASA ruling be
upheld, it may have further consequences for similar foreign brands
which produce their goods (or part of them) in the UK.
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