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UK: Advert watchdog reprimands Carlsberg

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The UK's advertising watchdog has told Carlsberg that it must plan prize promotions more carefully after the brewer breached its regulations.

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that Carlsberg broke its code of practice. Carlsberg, it said, failed to properly estimate how many pint glasses it would need to fulfill demand from a promotion run by the brewer.

"We advised Carlsberg to ensure that they made a reasonable estimate of the likely response to promotions in future," said the ASA ruling, published yesterday (6 July).

In January this year, Carlsberg began an on-pack promotion that, among other more glamorous prizes, entitled all consumers to apply for two free pint glasses. Initially, the brewer produced 3m promotional packs and allocated 12,000 glasses. From the 3m packs, the brewer only expected 6,000 claims.

Due to demand, it ended up allocating 60,000 glasses to cover 30,000 claims. The ASA became involved after receiving a complaint from a consumer who was told that there were no more glasses left.

Carlsberg, in its defence, said that it had increased its allocation of glasses and made clear that glasses would only be available "while stocks last".

However, the ASA said that Carlsberg wrongly used a previous promotion to calculate consumer demand for free glasses.

The watchdog ruled: "Because the previous promotion for an England World Cup glass had been run in isolation from any other prize, we considered it was not sufficiently similar to provide a reasonable basis for estimating demand for a prize promotion which had been run in conjunction with a significant 'main prize'."

For the full ruling, click here.


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