The Advertising Standards Agency of Ireland has upheld a complaint made against a Budweiser ad featuring Irish mixed martial artist, Conor McGregor, concluding that McGregor appeals too much to young people.
The ad in question was a continuation of Budweiser’s ‘Dream Big” campaign, which offer consumers the chance to win €50,000 to travel to America to fulfill their dreams.
Two complaints were made about the ad, with one claiming it was irresponsible to have Conor McGregor –who the complainant considered to be a role model for many young children – advertising an alcohol product alongside the invitation to enter a competition and “Dream Big.”
The second complainant alleged that MMA is aggressive sport, and that linking it to an alcohol product was sending out a dangerous message to young children.
The advertiser, Diageo, responded by saying that all of the ‘Dream Big’ ambassadors are carefully selected to ensure that they have an overwhelming appeal to adults.
It added that the ad had only aired on channels and during programmes with an overwhelming adult audience, and that the Budweiser product also hadn’t appeared at any stage during it. The only Budweiser branding that appeared was the name onscreen, and on a bowtie – which appeared alongside a responsible drinking message.
Furthermore, McGregor had not appeared in his UFC environment, had at all times been depicted in a non-aggressive setting, and that at no point did the ad suggest a link between Budweiser and sporting or social success.
The ASAI agreed that the ad had not portrayed any aggression, nor that its content linked the presence or consumption of alcohol to aggressive, unruly, irresponsible or anti-social behaviour.
However, it decided that McGregor is a hero to young people, and that this put the ad in breach of the Code of Standards for Advertising. It recommended that the ad not be used in the same format again.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.