The press campaign, part of a £200,000 investment in the Bottle of Britain promotion in the run-up to Christmas, features an image of a game of noughts and crosses, using the Spitfire roundel beating the German national cross.
Other executions in the campaign are Bouncing Bomb, featuring a bouncing Spitfire bottle top, and Beware of Enemy Infiltration, showing a pint of lager among a cluster of Spitfire pints. The first ad in the campaign ran during the Olympics with the line ‘Are you a pole vaulter? Nein....I am German and my name is Fritz.’
There have been complaints
that the Bottle of Britain theme is anti-German, although Shepherd Neame insisted the campaign was intended to be light-hearted and even Germans would think it funny.
In the past it ran the straplines ‘Downed all over Kent, just like the Luftwaffe’, ‘No Nazi aftertaste’ and a humorous poster with the words ‘Votz zo funny about zeez poster?’
Complaints have been investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority but not upheld, despite London Underground asking for some posters to be removed a week after going up.
Shepherd Neame’s sales and marketing director Mark McJennett said: “The latest phase in the campaign gives us the opportunity to reinforce our message, sustaining the quirky humour that has won us awards and great public awareness.
“Spitfire has increased sales by 24.9% over the past year and we are committed to maintaining the fastest growth in the premium ale market.”