An ASA ruling against Kronenbourg 1664’s Eric Cantona TV ad has been overturned on appeal.

In February, the advertising watchdog rapped brand owner Heineken for suggesting in a press ad and the Cantona TV spot that Kronenbourg 1664 was sourced and brewed in France. It had upheld complaints about both ads, but these have been overturned following an appeal by Heineken to the Advertising Standards Authority’s independent reviewer.

Announcing today (4 June) that it was no longer upholding the complaints, the ASA said the press ad did not imply Kronenbourg was brewed in France. It found the ad focussed on the Strisselspalt hops used in the lager, which are grown in France, and noted it contained small print stating Kronenbourg 1664 was brewed in the UK.

The ASA also said it was no longer upholding a complaint that the TV ad was misleading because it implied that the hops used to produce Kronenbourg were grown in France. This week’s ruling said the ASA was satisfied the hops referred to in the ad – one of several hops used in the beer – were sourced from Alsace, France, and that the ad did not indicate that all hops used to make the beer were sourced from that country.

Heineken – which re-edited the Cantona ad for a new run in April – is now free to use the ads again in their original form.

Heineken UK marketing director Jacco van der Linden said he was delighted there was no longer any suggestion the ads could mislead consumers. “While 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,” he added.

“Thankfully, the independent review process enabled us to highlight our concerns, and it is reassuring that strong and effective oversight is built into the complaints process.”