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Stella Artois falls foul of ASA

Published:  23 July, 2008

Uk: InBev's beer brand has been told to remove the reference to family from its press ads.

Stella Artois has fallen foul of the advertising watchdog with a national press advertisement that makes the statement: "A family dedicated to brewing for six centuries."

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled the claim breaches advertising rules relating to truthfulness and substantiation, since readers were likely to interpret it to mean that "one family of common ancestry had been involved in the brewing of Stella Artois for six centuries", but that Artois was no longer a family-owned brand.

The watchdog has asked InBev, which owns the brand, to remove the claim.

InBev said the advert's aim had been to emphasise the "continuity of tradition and care" found in the Artois family of beers. It argued that the family reference was meant to refer to the heritage of the family of beers, but this was rejected by the ASA.

This ruling is a blow for Stella Artois, which has been moving its advertising strategy to promote its three Artois brands as a family with strong references to a brewing tradition dating back to 1366.

Stella Artois has a tradition of being marketed in the UK as a "reassuringly expensive" beer with an impeccable, long-standing brewing heritage.