UK: ASA sides with Molson Coors over Heineken in Carling ad row

By | 8 December 2010

The ASA ruled that Heinekens complaints about Molson Coors advert for Carling were not valid

The ASA ruled that Heineken's complaints about Molson Coors' advert for Carling were not valid

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has favoured Molson Coors over Heineken, following a complaint made by Heineken about an advert promoting Molson Coors' Carling lager brand in the UK.

Earlier this year, a poster and TV campaign for Carling claimed that the beer was "scientifically proven to lock in great taste", while saying that the beer came in a "new taste lock can".

Heineken UK subsequently complained to the ASA, arguing that the advert was misleading because it implied the can was a new design. "Scientifically proven to lock in great taste", meanwhile, implied that the can was better than those of competitors, Heineken added.

Molson Coors' UK arm countered, however, that they had undertaken both taste and scientific tests comparing beer samples from their old and new cans. The results showed a lower iron content in the new cans compared to the old versions, Molson Coors said.

The advertising watchdog ruled today (8 December) that consumers were likely to understand that Molson Coors had made changes to the can that had improved the taste of Carling canned beer, not that it was a new innovation that made the can better than those of Carling's competitors. Molson Coors was also justified in claiming that the can could be scientifically proven to improve the taste of the beer.

"We concluded that the claim was not misleading," said the ASA, in handing down the ruling.

A spokesman for Molson Coors Brewing Company said: "We were confident in the science behind it and are pleased with the ASA's decision. The facts spoke for themselves."

To read the official ruling, click here.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Marketing – advertising & promotions

Companies: Coors, Heineken

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UK: ASA sides with Molson Coors over Heineken in Carling ad row

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