Tayside and Central Scotland

McQueen Gin TV ad showing climbers drinking on mountain is banned

McQueen gin Image copyright Trossachs Distillery

A TV advert for McQueen Gin has been banned after it showed a group of climbers drinking at the top of a mountain.

The commercial, which aired on 19 June, featured three people walking and climbing in the Scottish Highlands.

One member of the group, wearing a wetsuit, was shown diving into a loch.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the suggestion the activities would be undertaken after drinking alcohol was irresponsible.

Trossachs Distillery Ltd trades as McQueen Gin from its base in Callander near Stirling.

The company argued that there was no implication that alcohol was being consumed during the activity.

It said the ad portrayed "stylised activities that tied in with the brand's identity, ingredients and product rather than any significant physical feats".

Safety concern

The walkers, it insisted, were seen going up a "gentle incline" along a marked path designed for walkers and that the swimmer was shown diving safely.

The company said the group was not taking part in "dangerous mountain climbing or carrying equipment that implied there would be difficult terrain to combat, which would make ascending or descending a safety concern".

It maintained portrayals of drinking after an activity or enjoying being outdoors, such as on a beach after swimming, were not uncommon in alcohol adverts.

However, the ASA ruled that the implication was that the group drank McQueen Gin and a mixer "at the summit of a mountain peak, after which they would need to make their way back down".

In its ruling, it said: "The ad had previously shown the group helping each other up rocky terrain and sitting on rocks at the top.

"We considered the implication was that they would need to descend from that height along similar terrain.

"The (broadcast advertising) code permitted alcohol ads to feature sporting or other physical activities, but stated that ads must not imply those activities were undertaken after consumption of alcohol."