Waikato Draught Billboard Advertisement
29 January 2007
Advertisement: Lion Breweries - Waikato Draught
Complaint: A billboard advertisement for Waikato Draught contained the following:
NORMALLY WE'D DRINK FROM
A CAN OR BOTTLE, BUT ON THIS
OCCASION A CUP WILL DO NICELY.
WELL DONE THE CUP WINNING WAIKATO RUGBY TEAM.
The logo also contained the words: BITTER BEER
Complainant, C. Turner (GALA), said: "The Waikato Draught logo is also shown, it incorporates the words "Bitter Beer". I believe that these words disqualify the advertisement from being regarded as a sponsorship advertisement.
Since the Waikato rugby team can be regarded as heroes of the young in the Hamilton area it appears that the advertisement is in breach of Principle 4.3 of the liquor advertising code."
The Chairman ruled that the following provision was relevant:
Code for Advertising Liquor: Principle 4.3: Liquor advertisements shall not use or refer to identifiable heroes or heroines of the young.
The Advertiser's Legal Counsel said:
"We refer to your complaint notification letter of 20 November and respond to this complaint on behalf of Lion Breweries, the advertiser, and its advertising agency Publicis Mojo Group.
The billboard the subject of the complaint was developed as a sponsorship message to coincide with the final of the Air New Zealand Cup (the domestic provincial rugby competition) between the teams of Waikato and Wellington. Lion Breweries sponsors the Waikato rugby team. The billboard was published following the Waikato team's win over Wellington and its consequent award of the Air New Zealand Cup.
The billboard acknowledges the success of the Waikato team and was removed from display immediately advice of this complaint was received from the ASCB.
Lion Breweries has rigorous systems in place to ensure its advertising complies with the Code for Advertising Liquor. It subscribes to the LAPS approval system and lodged the artwork in question for approval prior to its publication. The LAPS approval number PP1041 is annexed to this submission.
Both our client and the LAPS adjudicator failed to notice that the billboard artwork included the "roundel" (bottom right hand corner) that also appears on Waikato Draught products.
Guideline 5B of the Code requires that sponsorship advertisements "shall not show a product or product packaging". The billboard is technically in breach of the sponsorship requirements of the Code and as a result the requirements of Principle 4 Rule 3 of the Code for Advertising Liquor.
We submit that the advertiser and its agency has taken all steps necessary to ensure compliance with the Code. That a mistake in the formatting of the billboard has occurred resulting in the requirements of the Code not being observed.
The billboard is no longer on display and the advertiser will ensure that any future billboards are formatted to ensure that elements of product packaging do not appear in sponsorship advertisements.
The advertiser and its agency seeks a ruling from the Board that this complaint be treated as settled."
The Chairman noted from the advice provided on behalf of the advertiser that a mistake had occurred in the publication of the advertisement and in the future greater care would be taken to ensure that such matters were not replicated. Accordingly, the Chairman said the matter had been settled in a self-regulatory manner and it would serve no further purpose to place it before the Complaints Board.
The Chairman ruled that the complaint was settled in relation to the Code for Advertising Liquor, Principle 4.3.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint Settled