July 5, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

Conor McGregor’s Forged Irish Stout and Gambling Santa Break ASAI Code

The list of recent ads that fell short of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s directions includes Conor McGregor’s Forged Irish Stout Instagram ad, Jesters Casino’s gambling ad showing a Santa Claus next to a slot machine, and a radio ad featuring cocktails from The Newpark Hotel, among others

A social media advert for former multi-weight Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion Conor McGregor‘s Forged Irish Stout has received a complaint over sexualised content and it was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI). 

A gambling ad poster displaying Santa Claus sitting next to a slot machine in a casino also fell short of the same advertising standards. 

These were just two of the total 18 recent complaints upheld by the ASAI recently, as they breached its Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in the country.

Let’s take a closer look at what these ads displayed.

McGregor’s Ad Allegeedy “Objectified Female Models”

Last month, the Irish professional mixed martial artist and the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold UFC Championships in both Lightweight and Featherweight classes became online casino 88Malaysia’s brand ambassador

However, McGregor is now in the news because of an Instagram reel advertising Forged Irish Stout Distribution, the icon’s brewery that turned into “Ireland’s biggest independent brewery brewed by Master Brewer Peter Mosley – Peter.” 

The venture that introduced its “beautifully hand-crafted stout with hints of chocolate and coffee roasted notes” carrying the icon’s signature to the United States last October following its launch in Ireland apparently showed what was deemed a “sexually suggestive” ad.

The ad showcased several female models wearing “cropped tops and high-leg hotpants” while drinking pints of the famous stout and striking poses next to a car and a person dressed up as a can of Forged Stout.

The complaint that was registered with the ASAI said the advertisement contained sexualized content.

The ASAI committee agreed, mentioning that the ad put “significant emphasis” on the models’ “cleavage and bottoms” using various camera angles.

Moreover, the manner in which the models were shown in the ad was described as “sexually suggestive” and even objectifying at times. 

The ASAI called it “an irresponsible manner in which to depict women.”

Santa Claus Gambling Ad Potentially Targeting Minors 

The ASAI also received complaints regarding Jesters Casino’s poster displaying the image of Santa Claus next to a slot machine inside the venue. 

The gambling ad fell short of advertising standards as it was deemed to be targeting children since it features a particularly appealing character.

The casino promptly removed the ad once it was officially informed of the complaints.

Alcohol, Milk, and Jeans Ads That Broke the ASAI Code

Sixteen other ads apparently breached the same ad regulations from the ASAI. One of them was a radio ad for Ireland’s leading convenience retail group counting 480 stores all around the country, Centra

The ad stated its “enjoy alcohol sensibly” disclaimer too fast. The ASAI has asked advertisers to pay close attention when making disclaimers and responsibility messages around alcohol ads. 

A similar alcohol-related ad in breach of the same code referred to a post featuring The Newpark Hotel’s cocktail, which failed to include the necessary responsibility message.

Other complaints revolved around the marketing of Zalando’s discount codes for a pair of jeans, an ad for a school claiming to feature “Ireland’s Best Teachers,” an ad that claimed the AA offered “unlimited” windscreen cover, MoveHome.ie ads claiming a certain house in the Glasnevin region was only a 28-minute walk from Dublin’s city center, several milk ads, and one ad by Bourke Builders for a commercial property with inexistent advertised premises.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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