ASA rap for Courage beer ad

Wells & Young’s has been ordered not to use a poster for Courage beer after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it suggested that drinking the product could increase confidence.

The ASA received complaints from three members of the public about the ad which showed a man sitting on a sofa with a beer, beside a woman standing in a figure-hugging dress with the label still attached, and the text: “Take Courage, my friend.”

The ad reprised a famous ad slogan used for the Courage brand for 30 years until the 1980s.

The brewer argued that it had carried our pre-campaign research in which there had been “no suggestion that the poster implied the beer would give the man courage, change his mood or give him confidence”.

The ASA ruled that despite the humorous intention behind the ad, it contravened the advertising code of practice by suggesting that “the combination of the text and the image of the man with an open beer can and half-empty glass of beer was likely to be understood by consumers to carry the clear implication that the beer would give the man enough confidence to tell the woman that the dress was unflattering”.