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Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-12

A beer advertisement featuring French football legend Eric Cantona was banned on Wednesday in the UK for “misleading” consumers with the claim that Kronenbourg 1664 lager was brewed in France.

The advertising campaign boasted: "If you find a better tasting French beer, we'll eat our berets.”

Kronenbourg 1664 is brewed in Manchester, the city where Cantona became a household name in the UK as a star striker for Manchester United.

But the brewer wanted to sell the beer on the back of its French heritage, with Cantona the perfect spokesman for his home country.

“The [French] hop farmers are treated like the footballers of Britain,” says Cantona. “They are idolised and adored. And why not? They are living legends. They are the men that grow the noble hops that make Kronenbourg the taste supreme."

British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was not amused, and pulled the ad (see below) telling Kronenbourg’s Dutch parent company Heiniken it had mistakenly implied that most hops used in the brewing process came from France.

"We considered that the degree of emphasis in the ad on the contribution of French hops to the beer, including the statement that the hop farmers in Alsace 'are the men that grow the noble hops that make Kronenbourg the taste supreme' implied that all, or a significant majority of, hops used in the brewing process were sourced from France," the ASA said in its ruling.

"We also noted that it (Strisselspalt) did not constitute a significant majority of the total hops used in the recipe for the beer. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading."

Heineken UK insisted that Kronenbourg 1664 was "an inherently French beer" that had first been brewed in 1952 in Alsace by Brasseries Kronenbourg and was now brewed under licence in the UK.

Date created : 2014-02-12

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