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Six Complaints Get The Macallan Ad Campaign Pulled In The UK

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All it took was six measly complaints to get The Macallan’s “Make the Call” ad campaign pulled in the UK by that country’s Advertising Standards Authority [ASA] for promoting “risky or daring behavior”.

The Macallan’s “Make the Call” campaign was released in November last year with a 90-second so-called “hero film” that depicted a man jumping off a cliff and falling towards the ground. As he falls, feathers begin to emerge from his arms and he grows wings.

After it was released, the ASA received a grand total of six complaints about the film – which was broadcast on various platforms including TV and Instagram – and while the ASA noted that some parts of the ad were “fantastical”, including how far the man fell through the clouds and his sprouting of wings, it ruled that the tagline question was one that promoted risky or daring behavior, considered the man jumping off the cliff to be akin to the extreme sport of base-jumping.

The ASA said: “Although the character was not seen consuming alcohol at any point, we considered the ads made a clear association between an alcoholic product and potentially very dangerous, daring behaviour and concluded that they were irresponsible.”

In response, Edrington, the parent company of The Macallan, said the story was “mystical, almost mythical” and “clearly removed from the real world”. It refuted the claims the ad was irresponsible, or linked alcohol with bravery, daring or toughness. Furthermore, it highlighted that the ad did not show any alcohol consumption.

“The story was simply a metaphor about making decisions.”

Facebook-owned Instagram said the ad did not violate its policies and it had not received any complaints about the video.

“In light of the ASA ruling, we have acted to address their concerns and removed the campaign film from relevant channels accessible by the UK audience. As phase one of the campaign is now complete, we will take onboard the ruling as we plan for [the] next phase of the campaign,” said a spokesman for The Macallan.

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