The ASA has warned the company about its future marketing

The ASA has warned the company about its future marketing

Hi Spirits has been reprimanded over the marketing content for the liqueur brand Fireball in the UK after concerns that it encouraged “excessive” drinking.

In a ruling published today (23 October), the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the content, which appeared in a blog on the brand's website, must not appear again. The ASA also warned the company about its future conduct. 

The blog appeared under the headline: “What UCAS Doesn't Tell Freshers”. The text said: “I take it (Fireball) to every student affair ... the guests love you because you've brought a bottle and it's thoroughly entertaining to watch the macho boys down it like it's water.” 

However, a single complaint, from the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council, argued the ad was “irresponsible”. The blog, it claimed, encouraged “excessive drinking” and “styles of drinking that were unwise as well as that it implied that alcohol was a key component of the success of social events”. 

Surrey-based Hi Spirits, which is the UK distributor for the Sazerac-owned brand, said the ad had been removed before the ASA contacted them and is “committed to promoting responsible consumption”. It also said it is speaking to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) team on a "regular basis". 

The ASA upheld the complaint, adding: “We told Hi Spirits to ensure their future advertising did not encourage excessive drinking or styles of drinking that were unwise. We also told them to ensure their ads did not imply alcohol was a key component of the success of social events in future.”