Captain Morgan rum ad banned for implying alcohol boosts confidence


An ad for a brand of rum sold by drinks giant Diageo has been banned for implying that alcohol can increase confidence.

The television ad for Captain Morgan showed a party on a sailing ship and a man, with the face of the Captain Morgan character superimposed over his own, dancing, upending a sofa and swinging on a rope between decks.

Alcohol Concern and a member of the public complained that the ad suggested that alcohol could contribute to a drinker's popularity or confidence and that the success of a social occasion depended on alcohol.

Diageo said the ad emphasised the attitude that the brand "embodied", of camaraderie, enjoying time with friends and living life to the full.

The company said no alcohol was shown in the party scenes, and they did not think that there was anything to suggest that the individuals shown had consumed or would consume alcohol.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said viewers were likely to understand that the central figure's behaviour resulted from his consumption of Captain Morgan rum.

The ASA said: "Although the ad did not explicitly depict drinking alcohol as resulting in a change in the central character's behaviour in a 'before and after' scenario, we considered that the superimposed Captain Morgan face implied that he had already consumed the product and thus linked his confident behaviour to this consumption.

"We concluded that the ad implied that drinking alcohol could enhance personal qualities and was therefore irresponsible."

However the ASA said the ad did not imply that the general success of the party was dependent on the presence or consumption of alcohol.

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form and told Diageo not to imply that alcohol could enhance confidence.

Julie Bramham, European marketing director for Captain Morgan, said: "Whilst we are pleased that the ASA chose to not uphold part of the complaint, we disagree with their interpretation on the rest of the ruling.

"No alcohol was pictured and the Captain Morgan face was designed to represent the brand as a whole and not intended to be linked to the consumption of alcohol."