A Tennent’s ad which claimed its product was “Scotland’s lowest calorie lager” has been banned.
People were able to infer Tennent’s Light lager had the particular beneficial nutritional property of being low in calories, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.
Three ads, which appeared on the beer giant’s Facebook page between February and June 2022, made claims the product was particularly low in calories.
The first, published on February 17, featured an image of a glass of Tennent’s lager with text stating: “The Thursday night pre-gig, post-fives hero… Tennent’s Light. Just 114 calories a pint.”
Another, dated May 10, featured an image of a bottle of Tennent’s Light lager with text which stated: “THIS is Scotland’s lowest calorie lager [tick symbol] 60 calories a bottle [tick symbol] Big taste.”
The final advert reviewed by the ASA was a paid-for Facebook post, seen on June 17, which featured text reading: “Fancy a cold one? This wee cracker is just 66 calories a bottle. Order yours here today”.
The watchdog ruled that while it was allowed for companies to make factual numerical statements about the calorie content of alcoholic drinks, preceding the claims with the word “just” or a tick symbol and the statement “Scotland’s lowest calorie lager” could mislead consumers.
Tennent Caledonian Breweries UK Ltd said that it recognised that the words “just” and “lowest calorie” before statements in the claims could suggest that Tennent’s Light held a “particular beneficial nutritional property of being low in calories”.
Tennent’s said it did not intend to market the product with any nutritional claims, but instead was “motivated to present consumers with enhanced product information in order to facilitate consumer decision-making”.
It added the ads had been withdrawn and the word “just” had been removed, alongside references to “lowest calorie” or equivalent wording when presenting calorie content information in future ads.
The ASA ruled that the three ads had breached its code, and welcomed the beer giant’s decision to pull them from circulation.