The Advertising Standard Authority has ruled that an April 2022 Pure Wines digital advert breaches CAP code for connecting “alcohol with seduction and sexual activity”.

The “Spark Up Your Life” ad, which ran across Instagram and the Pure Wines website, showed an image of six bottles of wine, one of which featured a label showing a “woman from the neck down, with her breasts exposed”. The Pure Wines website also had a listing for a wine called “Jung & Sexy Pet-Nat”, the bottle of which had the same label illustration as the advert and text that stated “r-rated”. 

While Pure Wines denied that there was any “link between the ad and seduction”, and said the wine had been named and labelled by one of its suppliers with no intention of “sexual connotation”. It argued that the text “r-rated” implied that the wine was “not suitable for consumers below the age of 18”, rather than being a reference to sexual activity. 

However, the ASA ruled that the way “the model was posed and styled on the label” made the advert “inherently sexual in nature”. 

It also noted that the text featured on the advert, “Spark Up Your Life”, could be “understood to refer to sexual activity” despite being intended as a “reference to the sparkling wine”. 

The ASA concluded: “The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Pure Wines Ltd to ensure their future advertising did not link alcohol to seduction, sexual activity or sexual success.”