Alcohol adverts featuring rapper banned by watchdog

May 31, 2023 12:00 pm

[Source: BBC]

Two adverts for alcohol brand Litty Liquor have been banned for encouraging excessive and irresponsible drinking.

Instagram posts from the Litty Liquor account in December featured photos of the rapper ArrDee tasting rum and drinking with friends in a nightclub.

The regulator said the adverts were “likely to encourage excessive consumption of alcohol”.

Article continues after advertisement

The rapper is under 25 which is also in breach of advertising rules. The commercials have since been removed.

ArrDee, 20, appeared to be mixing two brands of rum and then partying with friends on the dancefloor.

The text “#GETLIT” appeared at the end of the advert alongside a box of Litty Liquor’s products.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received one complaint that the adverts breached advertising rules because they featured someone who was, or seemed to be, under 25, and encouraged excessive and irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

The ASA said: “We understood that the word ‘lit’ had a long history of being used as a slang term for being drunk, and that it had also become popular within the rap music scene to indicate being intoxicated.

“We noted that in recent years the term ‘lit’ had also been used in rap music to mean that something was exciting, or of an excellent quality.

“However, because the ad was focused on the creation and consumption of an alcoholic drink… we considered that consumers would likely associate the phrase “#GETLIT to relate to the consumption of alcohol, and becoming intoxicated.

“We therefore considered that the ad was likely to encourage excessive consumption of alcohol.”

Adverts featuring alcohol are prohibited from showing people who are, or appear to be, under the age of 25 in a significant role.

Litty Liquor, also responding on behalf of ArrDee, confirmed that the rapper was under 25 years of age at the time the ads were seen, and apologised for his presence, which they accepted was in breach of the rules.

The company and ArrDee said they understood how the phrase “#GETLIT” could have been perceived as promoting excessive and irresponsible alcohol consumption, but said they had intended to promote their products in a responsible and appropriate manner.

They said they had removed the ads and would be reviewing their advertising policies and procedures in order to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.

ArrDee, who is from Brighton, has collaborated with Aitch and Cat Burns and scored five top 10 hits in the UK.