Heineken vows to bring back banned Cantona ad

Heineken has vowed to bring Kronenbourg’s Hero Hop Farmers of Alsace back to TV screens after revising an ad that was banned for falsely implying the beer was brewed in France.

The Dutch giant brews the Kronenbourg sold in the UK at its Manchester plant, but the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the ads suggested it is made in France.

The ads feature ex-footballer Eric Cantona waxing lyrical about the French hop farmers who are idolised for helping make Kronenbourg.

But Heineken said the ads have been tweaked and will return this spring, and it launched an impassioned defence of its methods.

Press manager David Jones told OLN: “The ASA decision surprised us. We were very disappointed. Two complaints were upheld on the grounds that we were misleading consumers into thinking the Kronenbourg they drink is brewed in France, despite the fact that the end frame said ‘Brewed in the UK’.

“We have appealed. That’s still going on. But in the meantime we are committed to having a Kronenbourg ad on TV this spring.

“We have re-scripted the offending part to address the complaint the ASA upheld and the script has now been cleared by the governing body, Clearcast, with a view to airing an amended version of the Hero Hop Farmers of Alsace ad in April.”

Rivals Brookfield and Budvar called on brewers to be more honest about where their beers are made after the ASA ruling, but Jones reacted defiantly.

“As long as those beers are brewed to the same recipe they are brewed to in their original countries I don’t think there’s a consumer problem,” he said.

“The product will tell you where it’s brewed and advertising has to. We know Kronenbourg is brewed to the same recipe Kronenbourg is brewed to in France.

“If we were brewing a different beer and calling it Kronenbourg I could understand that.”

He added: “Beer is an expensive thing to ship around the world. Think of the environmental cost. Would people want it to be shipped? The answer is often ‘no’. We are all aware of green issues. People just want the facts.

“Foster’s was imported to the UK from Australia when it was a tiny brand. But there’s a tipping point [it is now also brewed by Heineken in Manchester].

“When a brand reaches a certain volume it’s not sustainable. If beers are big and popular enough there comes a point where you have to look at producing in the country you are selling in.

“There are far more important things to worry about.”

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