Diageo to appeal ASA ruling on "irresponsible" Parrot Bay advert

Catherine Neilan
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Parrot Bay: Diageo to appeal ASA decision (Source: Diageo)

Drinks firm Diageo is planning to appeal the Advertising Standards Authority's ruling that its advert for an alcoholic frozen cocktail could have “strongly” appealed to children.

The TV ad, for Parrot Bay Freeze and Squeeze cocktails, was shown at 6pm during the film King Solomon's Mines and featured a colourful animated parrot in a tropical setting, who was shown being frozen and squawking.
It elicited one complaint from a viewer who questioned whether the ad “was irresponsible and breached the code”.
In a ruling published today, the ASA said the parrot “being frozen, moving its eyes in a comical fashion and falling off the bar was likely to strongly appeal to children”.
The music, beach scenary and appearance of the drink was also felt to be attractive to them.
While the advert included the text “contains alcohol”, the watchdog argued it was not sufficient compared to the more prominent slogan “freeze a parrot today”.
“Because we considered the ad, particularly the parrot character and its behaviour was likely to appeal strongly to children, we concluded the ad was irresponsible,” the ASA said.
It has told Diageo the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form and that it must ensure all future marketing does not follow suit.
But the drinks company, which vigorously defended its ad during the investigation, said it now intends to appeal the decision.
"We are disappointed with the ASA Council’s adjudication and will be appealing against the decision,” said Ed Pilkington, consumer marketing and innovation director of Diageo Western Europe.
"We will be liaising with the ASA and will await the decision of the independent review process."

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