Kronenbourg 1664

04th June 2014

The Clear View – Kronenbourg 1664


In the event that an ad is complained about and investigated by the ASA, Clearcast and the advertiser provide a defence to keep the ad on air. The ASA provide a draft recommendation which is then passed to the ASA Council who make the final decision. Normally the Council agree with the recommendation but not always.


Last year Ogilvy produced a very funny and effective ad Kronenbourg 1664 starring Eric Cantona. The ad presented the hops farmers of the French region of Alsace as local heroes who are idolised for their ability to create the hops that make Kronenbourg 1664 taste great.


The ad was investigated by the ASA on the basis of a complaint that the ad suggested that all of the hops used to make Kronenbourg 1664 were farmed in France when this was not the case. The draft decision was to not uphold the complaint but unusually, and to the advertiser’s disappointment, the ASA Council chose to uphold. As a result, the voice over was slightly amended and a qualifying super was added to the ad to make it explicitly clear that it was just the Strisselspalt hops that originated in France. The new version of the ad was quickly approved by Clearcast, and Kronenbourg was back on TV.


Now there has been a further twist. An independent review into the ASA’s decision to uphold the complaint was requested by Heineken (Kronenbourg’s parent company), and it found there had been a ‘substantial flaw’ in the Council’s decision and the original adjudication has now been reversed. The flaw being that the adjudication had not been allowed for the significance of the Strisselspalt hops in creating the overall taste of Kronenbourg 1664. The Council have now decided that the distinctive taste of the product was derived from hops grown in France and the ad did not imply that all the hops in the lager were from that country. Great news for Heineken, and for Clearcast, who are vindicated in their decision to approve the original ad.

Seb Lynch, Copy Development Manager at Clearcast.


Read the full Kronenbourg 1664 adjudication here on the ASA website.