Saturday 6 August 2011

Complaining about adverts

Not so long ago I was perusing the popular and informative Beerleaks website. Along with brief explanations about commonly known brewing facts there was also a helpful page about sending a petition to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Sadly Beerleaks seems to have disappeared up its own arsehole been discontinued. But fear not, it's easy to complain about adverts and there's no need for a petition.
Back in the mists of time, when I was innocent of the ways of internet beer nerdery, I made a complaint to the ASA. There was a Leffe advert in a magazine with the slogan "crafted in exactly the same way for over 750 years". As this was blatantly bollocks I started mouthing off about the vast number of ways in which beer making has changed but mid-rant I thought why not actually do something about it?
So I found the ASA website and continued my rant online in the complaints form. A few days later I got a letter saying my complaint was being looked into. And a few weeks later I got another letter saying they were still looking into it. Eventually a letter arrived saying that InBev had voluntarily agreed to withdraw the adverts so no further action would be taken. Whilst I had hoped that the outcome would be the Chief Executive of InBev being strung up I had to accept that capital punishment for being wrong about beer was not yet on the statute books. And I was pleased when I next saw the advert with new wording: "Made with 800 years of tradition" if I remember rightly. I'm not sure where the extra fifty years come from, I'm pretty sure the complaints process hadn't taken that long, but it was good to see my rant had forced InBev to change the advert.

1 comment:

  1. Good work. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say.