Portman raps Kronenbourg over music promotion

04 July, 2011

Heineken UK has been rapped by marketing watchdog the Portman Group after a song called Too Drunk to F*** appeared in a playlist in a Kronenbourg 1664 promotion on the Spotify music streaming service.

The song was a cover by the group Nouvelle Vague of a song written in 1981 by US punk band the Dead Kennedys.

The brewer was found in breach of Portman’s marketing code of practice because the song was deemed to encourage excessive drinking.

The promotion featured banner adverts on Spotify to direct consumers to a Kronenbourg 1664 playlist as part of its Slow the Pace ad campaign, which has featured the bands Motorhead and Madness, playing pared down versions of well known hits.

Nouvelle Vague are noted for their soporific takes of classic punk and new wave tracks.

Portman’ complaints panel said the company had not deliberately set out to promote irresponsible drinking, but the track name and lyrics associated the brand with immoderate consumption.

Portman chief executive David Poley said: “We were pleased that the company took immediate action to remove the track from the playlist as soon as the complaint was brought to its attention.

“Heineken has also introduced more rigorous approval procedures as a result.

“This demonstrates just how careful companies have to be when marketing alcohol and we encourage people to get in touch with the Portman Group prior to campaign launch for advice on the code rules.”

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