One poster advert was by Carlsberg UK for Holsten Pils, and another for Wychwood Brewery Company’s Hobgoblin.
Both were investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority after complaints from the public. Although these were eventually dismissed, producers say it raises questions about the consistency of rules governing alcohol advertising.
Peter Kirby, premium lager and ales controller at Carlsberg UK, said the clampdown on advertising for alcohol, which was brought into effect last year in response to growing public concern, was subject to wide-ranging interpretation. The Holsten poster showed a photograph of a table football game, with one of the players detached from a pole and poised to head a ball. Objectors said it used imagery that was likely to appeal to children.
But the ASA agreed with Carlsberg that table football was a common pub sport and noted that “the image was a humorous and unrealistic depiction of table football”.
Wychwood’s national press ad for Hobgoblin - which the complainant said was aggressive and offensive - was headed “Afraid of the dark, Lagerboy?” with the strapline “Hobgoblin deliciously dark”.
The ASA agreed with Wychwood that the ad was intended to be humourous and used an unrealistic image.