Furniture retailer deemed as irresponsible over alcohol advert

Home furnishings retailer Novielo London has been told to be more ‘socially responsible’ when marketing alcohol after a Mother’s Day promotion was deemed irresponsible.

Novielo London displayed two ads on its Instagram page and website, seen on 14 March 2023, that stated text including “A bottle a day, keeps the doctor a way [sic] (that’s the saying, right?!). The perfect mothers day [sic] idea, just stick it over the label of her favourite bottle of wine and you have a hilarious personalised gift [champagne bottle emoji]”.

The ad contained an image that showed a green prescription label on a bottle of wine. The image also showed a close up of the label which stated “PRESCRIPTION ALCOHOL” next to the green pharmacy cross.

Other text on the ad referred to a dosage and side effects of drinking in a humorous way, however, the ads were challenged by a complaint, who believed that ads condoned and encouraged excessive drinking and that they were irresponsible.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also challenged whether the ads implied that alcohol had therapeutic qualities and therefore breached the Code.

When approached by the ASA, Novielo London did not respond to the enquiries. Instagram said that upon being notified of the ad, they removed it from their platform in the UK.

In a statement following its investigation, the advertising watchdog said: “The ASA was concerned by Novielo London’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquires and told them to do so in future.

“The ads must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Novielo London to ensure future marketing communications relating to alcohol were socially responsible and did not imply, condone or encourage excessive consumption of alcohol. We also told Novielo London to not imply that alcohol had therapeutic qualities. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.”

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