Pub and nightclub ads banned for encouraging binge drinking

·2-min read

Several pubs and nightclubs in England and Scotland have had their social media adverts banned for breaking strict alcohol rules, by encouraging excessive drinking.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said in its ruling that the ads were “irresponsible” and violated rules prohibiting any communication that may “lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise”.

The watchdog banned three Instagram posts and a Facebook post for The Hive, a nightclub in Edinburgh, which included text such as: “Not only do I dance like nobody is watching, I also drink as if I don’t work in the morning” and “Drinks from £1”.

While the ASA noted that the posts included a caption that gave the prices of the drinks alongside details about events that were being held at The Hive, it ruled that they “nonetheless condoned and encouraged excessive drinking”.

City Clubs (Edinburgh), trading as The Hive, said they accepted that the posts were not socially responsible and had removed them.

The ASA also banned a TikTok post for Lulu, another nightclub in the Scottish capital, which featured clips of women holding drinks and having alcohol poured into their mouths while dancing in a nightclub.

Montpeliers (Edinburgh), trading as Lulu, accepted that some of the clips did not show responsible drinking and acknowledged that some of the individuals featured in the post were not clearly over the age of 25.

Cocktail bar The Spiritualist, in Glasgow, also had two posts on its Instagram page banned for condoning and encouraging excessive drinking and featuring a person who appeared to be under 25.

The posts have since been removed from The Spiritualist’s Instagram page.

The watchdog also banned a further two Facebook posts and an Instagram post by the Slug & Lettuce pub in Glasgow and an Instagram post for Popworld in Leeds.

These ads were banned for featuring people who appeared under 25 and encouraged binge drinking, the regulator said.

Popworld’s Instagram post, which has been removed, featured the text: “When your pal hands you another shot and you’re not sure you can handle it but you take it anyway…”

Stonegate Pub Company, trading as the Slug & Lettuce, and Popworld acknowledged that the ads “possibly breached the Code” and added they were reviewing other social media ads and would remove any that were similar.