Heineken said it was ‘very disappointed’ by the Advertising Standard Authorities decision (today 12th February ) to ban its current Kronenbourg 1664 advertisements, which star football icon Eric Cantona. This includes TV and press advertising. The ASA has banned the advertising campaign for misleading drinkers about the true origins of the lager because Kronenbourg, supplied to the UK, is actually made in Manchester and not in France, despite the commercial using the declaration, “If you find a better tasting French beer, we’ll eat our berets”. Heineken say that the fact that it was brewed in the UK was made clear by the text in the ads. However the ASA said the commercial was “misleading.” because the advertising campaign misled drinkers about the true origins of the lager. In a statement the ASA said, “Although we acknowledged Heineken’s arguments as to the beer’s heritage and the French origins of the recipe, we considered that the degree of emphasis in the ad on the connection with France would lead consumers to believe that the entire brewing and manufacturing process took place in that country. The ad contained small print stating that the beer was brewed in the UK, but we considered that contradicted rather than clarified the main message of the ad.”
While a spokesman for Heineken commented “‘Kronenbourg 1664 is French by any reasonable measure, including brand ownership, history, heritage and the authentic recipe used. We have never made any secret that it is also brewed in the UK, and indeed this fact is clearly communicated within the two commercials that were challenged; and on every bottle and can.”
The ad was launched in February of last year and was created by Ogilvy and Mather.