UK advertising watchdog bans Hooch ad

Oct 26th '16

A Hooch ad featuring Vine and YouTube star Joe Charman has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for marketing alcohol to under-18s.

In the short clip, Charman was seen using an inflatable to surf across a swimming pool to deliver bottles of Hooch to his friends.


The Facebook page for Charman, who is also known as ‘the skills guy’ for pulling off seemingly impossible stunts, featured an image of him alongside Hooch branding as well as him drinking a bottle of Hooch. The page included a video, which was labelled “When its [sic] your round … Make it a Hooch! #OutrageouslyRefreshing”.


The ASA received a complaint that the ad showed Charman behaving in a juvenile manner, and that as he is popular with young people challenged if the advert breached advertising codes.


Global Brands, which trades as Hooch said that even though the ad was meant to entertain, it did not feature juvenile or reckless behaviour.


Charman said it was obvious his skills-related videos were “not real or achieveable” and they were intended to entertain, not to promote juvenile behaviour.


The ASA said that the advertising code states that alcohol ads are not meant to appeal particularly to under-18s and that people should not be shown “behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner”.


The watchdog did believe showing Charman carrying out a stunt using a swimming pool inflatable depicted behaviour likely to be regarded as juvenile, and therefore likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s. As a result, the ASA concluded that the ad breached the code.


The ASA told Global Brands to ensure that those playing a significant role in their future ads were not shown behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner.


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