Facebook posts by the alcohol delivery service Drink Doctor have been banned over complaints that the “irresponsible” ads trivialised addiction.
One of the posts for the 24-hour delivery firm read: “People are not addicted to alcohol or drugs, they are addicted to escaping reality,” while another said: “According to chemistry, alcohol is the solution.”
The Manchester-based company’s posts also read: “In Jerusalem there is the Wailing Wall. We have the WINEing Wall in Manchester.”
An image of former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher was accompanied by the text: “I see people all the time going to therapy, thinking they’ve got a problem. What’s up with everyone get on it, order a Crateman and live a little...or a lot.”
A reader complained that the ads were irresponsible for promoting “unwise” drinking styles and trivialising alcohol addiction.
According to PA, Drink Doctor Ltd said it had simply attached its brand to popular memes, but could see how “sometimes that could be deemed a little inappropriate”.
Upholding the complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ads were likely to encourage excessive drinking and imply that drinking alcohol could help people cope with personal problems by “escaping the reality” of their lives.
It concluded that all four ads were “irresponsible”.
The ASA ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form.
It said: “We told Drink Doctor to ensure in future that their ads contained nothing that was likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise, including by not encouraging excessive drinking and that they did not imply drinking alcohol could overcome boredom, loneliness or other problems.”
The Huffington Post UK has contacted Drink Doctor for further comment and is awaiting response.