More Instagram posts in front of ABAC


Recent ABAC adjudications over brands Travla and Better Beer have highlighted the issues of social media marketing, in particular with Instagram.

Travla, which launched two months ago, was the subject of a complaint over its launch video on Instagram which alleged it encouraged excessive consumption of alcohol while Better Beer also faced a panel over an Instagram video for similar concerns.

Elsewhere, South Ave Seltzer’s Instagram posts have highlighted the challenge of implementing age restriction controls.


New beer brand Travla has faced an ABAC panel over an Instagram advertisement video.

The video in question displays founders Andy Allen and Travis Fimmel in various bush and beach locations, with multiple scenes showcasing alcohol consumption.

One scene in particular showcases Allen and Fimmel taking chairs and an esky to a waterhole. A can of the beer is thrown to Fimmel before a scene where he jumps off the cliff into the water.

The complainant argued that the video breaches Part 3 of the ABAC code which states marketing should not show alcohol consumption before or during any activity that requires a high degree of alertness.

In its extensive response to the complaint, Travla stated that it “takes the guidelines very seriously” however disagreed that a breach had occurred.

Specifically, it noted that it went to “great lengths” not to highlight any connection between alcohol consumption and activities shown in the video.

“The video, by design, conveys a connection between the brand and the activity, not the product and the activity,” the response said.

It also said that it accepts the ruling of the panel, whatever it may be, and will remove scenes of concern if needed.

The panel determined that the diving scene is the only problematic scene relating to the complaint. It upheld the complaint and argued that, while the video does not showcase consumption directly before this scene, a reasonable person would assume otherwise due to how the advertisement was cut.

Better Beer

Mighty Craft’s Better Beer was also subject to its third ABAC complaint in recent months. This time, over an Instagram video celebrating the first anniversary since its launch.

The complainant said the video had multiple breaches to the ABAC code, including excessive consumption of alcohol, depicting alcohol as contributing to the achievement of sexual success and alcohol consumption during an activity that requires a high degree of alertness.

The scenes include depicting a ‘shoey’, a person opening a beer while riding a wheeler attached to a motorbike, and various scenes of what is referred to as ‘the moan challenge’.

Better Beer disagreed with the complaint on all accounts, arguing that the ‘shoey’ scene had a woman drinking from a croc, rather than a shoe, indicating that a small amount of alcohol was consumed.

It also noted that the motorbike scene depicted the passenger, rather than the driver of the motorbike.

“We accept that being in control of a car, boat or bike would be a breach – however this person is just a passenger on the back of a bike,” the response read.

Better Beer also said that the ‘moan challenge’ was previously dismissed in another complaint raising similar concerns last year.

The panel said that each aspect of the complaint must be analysed individually, from the perspective of how a reasonable person would interpret the video.

In the first concern, the panel upheld the complaint stating a reasonable person would view this as excessive consumption of alcohol, regardless of the style of shoe.

It also upheld the complaint in regards to the motorbike, as a reasonable person would consider this as unsafe, with the consumption of alcohol heightening the danger of this.

The panel however, dismissed the third concern, arguing that the ‘moan challenge’ does not depict alcohol causing sexual fulfilment.

“Taken as a whole the scene in the video would most likely be understood as a somewhat exaggerated reaction to tasting the product rather than suggesting the product causes sexual fulfilment,” the panel said.

South Ave Seltzer

South Ave Seltzer has also received a complaint over two Instagram posts showcasing its product.

The complainant said that the posts encourage underage drinking by depicting people under the age of 18.

Part 3 of the ABAC code stipulates that alcohol marketing must not showcase anyone who appears to be a minor, unless in an incidental role. It also must not depict an adult who is under the age of 25, unless they are not a paid actor and have been placed within an age restricted environment.

The company confirmed that all people in the photographs are not minors and noted that the profile is age restricted. The panel agreed and dismissed the complaint.

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