Eric Cantona's Kronenbourg 1664 ad cleared

A Kronenbourg 1664 ad featuring Eric Cantona championing the hero hop farmers of Alsace has been cleared by the advertising watchdog after an appeal. 

The Advertising Standards Authority originally banned the ads after deciding they were duping drinkers by claiming the beer was made in France when really it is brewed in Manchester.

Heineken brought Cantona back in, corrected the offending lines and re-released the ad, and the ASA has now cleared it to run.

This judgement replaces the initial ban and the ASA said is satisfied that the new ads clearly state where the beer comes from and would not mislead consumers.

The ASA said: “We considered it would be acceptable to describe the product as 'French' if the ad made clear on what basis that claim was made.

"Because we were satisfied that consumers would understand the association with France in the context of one of the ingredients used rather than the location of production, and because the ad contained clarification that the beer was brewed in the UK, we concluded that the ad was not misleading.

"We considered that the ad, including the statement that hop farmers in Alsace 'are the men that grow the noble hops that make Kronenbourg the taste supreme' implied that the distinctive taste of the product was derived from hops grown in France, but did not go so far as to indicate that all hops used to make the beer were sourced from that country.

"On that basis, and because we were satisfied that the Strisselspalt hops used in Kronenbourg 1664 were sourced from Alsace, France, we concluded that the ad was not misleading."

Jacco van der Linden, UK marketing director at Heineken, said: "We are delighted that our advertising has finally been judged to be fully compliant with the CAP/BCAP codes and that there is no longer any suggestion that we could mislead consumers. 

"Whilst we fully recognise and support the complaints process operated by the ASA as a hugely important part of effective self regulation, in this particular case, we felt very strongly that the decision to rule against us was simply wrong and would set some unintended precedents for future advertising. Thankfully, the independent review process enabled us to highlight our concerns, and it is reassuring that strong & effective oversight is built into the complaints process. 

"In practice, this means that we can continue to draw attention to Kronenbourg 1664's rich heritage from its origins in the Alsace, and the important role of the Strisselspalt hop in creating the beer's unique taste." 

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