Scottish gin TV advert banned over link to mountain climbing

A television advert for a Scottish gin has been banned for linking alcohol with mountain climbing after it showed three people drinking at the top of a peak.

A still from the banned TV advert

Trossachs Distillery unveiled the advert for its McQueen Gin brand as part of a new campaign in June.

The advert showed three people walking and climbing in the Highlands interspersed with the sound of a drink being made with berries, lime and ice. One member of the group, wearing a wetsuit, was shown diving into a loch.

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The group of climbers was then seen helping each other ascend to the top of a rocky peak where they sat and raised tall glasses filled with a clear drink, lime and ice.

One person complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and challenged whether it was irresponsible to link alcohol with mountain climbing.

Trossachs Distillery, whose new premises were opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in May, said it was fully aware of its responsibilities as an alcohol company and did not consider the advert to be irresponsible.

However, the advertising watchdog has now banned the advert and said it breached rules on alcohol promotion.

In a written ruling, the ASA said: “We considered the ad suggested that the activities would be undertaken after the consumption of alcohol and were therefore irresponsible. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.

“The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Trossachs Distillery Ltd t/a McQueen Gin to ensure alcohol ads were not irresponsible in future by, for example, suggesting that sporting or other physical activities were undertaken after consumption of alcohol.”

Trossachs Distillery, which is based in Callander, Stirlingshire, told the ASA the advert had been approved by Clearcast, the body responsible for vetting adverts before they are broadcast to the public

Clearcast said it saw the advert as portraying stylised activities that tied in with the brand’s identity, ingredients and product rather than any significant physical feats. It said the group was not shown partaking in dangerous mountain climbing or carrying equipment that implied there would be difficult terrain to combat.