An ad campaign for celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s new gin has been banned for making nutritional claims that are not allowed under UK marketing rules.
Ramsay, known for his restaurant empire and shows such as Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, launched his first gin last year in partnership with the Scottish producer Eden Mill.
The focus of Eden Mill’s marketing of Ramsay’s Gin, which is described on the distiller’s website as a “delicious new take on a classic London dry gin inspired by the taste of Scotland”, is on the product’s ingredients.
Posts on the Ramsay’s Gin Instagram and Facebook pages, which are operated by Eden Mill, featured an image of the bottle expounding the virtues of the honeyberries that “form the botanical foundation” of the gin.
“Honeyberries retain the rich flavours and micro-nutrients that come from Scotland’s wonderful terroir,” states the post. “With more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than oranges and a flavour like a mixture of blueberry, plum and grape, these might be the tastiest honeyberries in the world!”
The Advertising Standards Authority challenged whether the ads broke strict rules governing nutritional claims that are allowed to be made when marketing alcoholic drinks.
Under the UK advertising code the only permitted nutrition claims that are allowed to be made are that products are “low alcohol”, “reduced alcohol” or “reduced energy”.
Eden Mill Distillery said it had never previously distilled with honeyberries and was also “excited” by the chance to work with Ramsay which meant that the company “neglected to conduct its usual due diligence” on advertising compliance.
The company said the ads had only been posted once and would not be used again in any media channels.
In addition, the company owners, marketing team and head distiller have been briefed on the complaint and have assured the ASA it will not happen again.
“While we welcomed the action Ramsay’s Gin had taken to withdraw the ads we concluded the ads breached the [advertising] code,” the ASA ruled. “The ads must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Eden Mill Distillery, which trades as Ramsay’s Gin, not to make non-permitted nutrition claims about alcoholic drinks.”
Ramsay was once the face of Gordon’s gin, but the brand partnership came to an end in 2011.