Date Night

ABAC dismisses ALDI “Date Night” complaint

March 3, 2020
By Alana House

ALDI has been vindicated after ABAC dismissed a complaint that “Date Night” drink suggestions in its catalogue encouraged irresponsible behaviour.

ABAC received the complaint on January 22, which objected to the marketing (pictured below) “as it suggests it is a good idea to buy alcohol for romantic purposes, when there is nothing romantic about being with someone who has been drinking, nor regrets of accepting sexual advances that otherwise would not have been agreed to.”

ALDI catalogue complaint

ALDI noted in its response to the complaint “that the reference to Date Night in the advertisement is not capable of being understood by reasonable consumers as “encouraging irresponsible or offensive behaviour” of any kind.

“There is nothing ‘irresponsible’ or ‘offensive’ about a couple consuming alcohol when out on a ‘date night’,” the supermarket said. “Nor is the advertisement capable of being reasonably understood as ‘encouraging the use of alcohol when dating’.”

ALDI also submitted that the reference to Date Night is “not capable of being understood by reasonable consumers as implying that alcohol is required in order for a date to be successful.”

The supermarket added: “We note that the Guidance Notes on this part of the ABAC Code make clear that ‘there is no intention to prevent
the depiction of alcohol as incidental to a friendly and lively social environment or celebration’ and that it is permissible to ‘depict the presence of alcohol in a romantic situation, provided there is no suggestion it has caused or contributed to the achievement of sexual or other success’.”

ABAC agreed with ALDI, which is not a signatory of the Code, saying the complainant had taken the combination of the words “Date Night” to suggest that alcohol is needed for “romantic purposes” and alcohol use can lead to unwise sexual choices.

However, “it would be a common experience in the Australian community for a couple going on a date to consume some alcohol”.

The ABAC panel did not believe the ALDI catalogue breached the ABAC standard.

“The advertisement doesn’t suggest any particular level of consumption,” ABAC said. “It is a passive depiction of unopened bottles of products with pricing information.”

The complaint against the ALDI catalogue was dismissed.

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