JL Drinks Ltd t/a Jatt Life
As a member of the public I find it shocking that Jatt life Global are encouraging ‘down in one’ of a miniature bottle drinking challenge as a way to promote their social media. The brand uses the term “You’ve been Jatted” as a way to show that you have completed the challenge, this has been openly shown on their Instagram feed with the owners themselves getting involved in the challenge and also encouraging others around them to down the miniature bottle in one attempt.
They have been doing this in car events where they are sponsoring the event with evening parties following long drives in high performance vehicles which they have their branding and most importantly their car private registration which they use to promote their brand.’
‘They also sponsor ‘The Cannon Ball Run’ (they have their branding put on all the cars part of the club/race and regularly go to arranged drag races and race with their own vehicles’
Member of the public
Under Code paragraph 3.1:
As an integral part of each new alcohol sponsorship agreement, drinks companies must ensure there is a recognisable commitment to promoting responsible drinking and/or supporting diversionary/community activities; taking into account the size, scale, reach, and length of the sponsorship.
Under Code paragraph 3.3:
Drinks companies must not sponsor individuals, activities, teams, events, tournaments, competitions, bands or celebrities which have a particular appeal to, or are primarily aimed at, under-18s.
Under Code paragraph 3.4:
Drinks companies must not allow the placement of their brand names, logo or trademark (including the non-alcoholic version of the alcohol brand) on merchandise which has a particular appeal to/intended for use primarily by under-18s.
Under Code paragraph 3.7:
There must be no implication that bravado, aggressive, violent, dangerous or anti-social behaviour is advocated or condoned by a drinks company or brand.
Under Code paragraph 3.8:
Drinks companies must not sponsor individuals, groups or events associated with sexual activity or sexual success.
Under Code paragraph 3.9:
Drinks companies must not sponsor individuals, groups or events which encourage illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption.
Under Code paragraph 3.10:
Anyone carrying out sampling must comply with current licensing legislation.
Under Code paragraph 3.11:
Sampling must not encourage illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption such as binge-drinking, drunkenness or drink driving and should not have a particular appeal to under-18s.
Under Code paragraph 3.12:
Drinks companies must not use images of people who are, or look as if they are, under twenty-five years of age, where there is any suggestion that they are drinking alcohol or they are featured in a significant role. Images may be shown where people appear only in an incidental context.
Under Code paragraph 3.13:
Sponsorship must not imply it is acceptable to consume alcohol before or while playing sport or suggest alcohol enhances sporting performances or social success.
The company’s submission
The company began by explaining that it had been set up in March 2020 and that it acted diligently to ensure that the brand image was that of a luxury, ultra-premium brand. The company explained that the spirit range was manufactured and available to purchase in the UK and was distributed globally to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The company stated that it believed the complaint had come from an individual who was uncomfortable with the success of the company and that the complainant was not driven by concerns about non-compliance with the Portman Group Codes of Practice.
In response to the first part of the complaint, the company stated that it had never encouraged consumers to down any of its products and that the product was not available in miniature bottles for consumers to purchase. The company explained that it was unable to control if consumers posted consuming the product in this way on social media. The company stated that as a brand it was very clear to showcase its drinks as ultra-premium and to be sipped and enjoyed.
The company then addressed the use of the term ‘You’ve been Jatted’ in the complaint. The company confirmed that some of its customers did use the term ‘Jatted’ but that it was simply a play on words of its brand name and the term itself was meaningless. The company stated that the owners of Jatt Life had not participated in any drinking challenges.
The company explained that it sponsored a driving experience holiday company called the Cannon Run that hold small events across the year where supercar owners meet and drive scenic routes across the globe in a safe manner. The company explained that it had chosen to sponsor the event as its branding sticker was stuck to every supercar that took part in the event and reflected good advertising. The company confirmed that it had a range of private number plates for its company vehicles to further advertise the brand but that it did not perceive any of them to be in breach of the Codes.
The company then refuted the complainant’s point that the Cannon Run was a ‘drag race’ and stated that the event was for supercar owners to network and drive their cars on scenic routes. The company explained that all events were controlled and organised and that the organisers ensured all attendees were high net worth individuals and that all events required drivers to be breathalysed before participating.
The company then addressed the specific rules the complainant believed the sponsorship to be in breach of. With regards to rules 3.3 and 3.4, the company stated that the Cannon Run event was not aimed at under-18s as it was a luxury supercar experience company and that the ticket price started at £3,000, a cost it believed would not have particular appeal to under-18s. Additionally, it stated that the branding stickers on the vehicles that took part were not aimed at under-18s.
In response to rule 3.7, the company explained that it worked hard to showcase a classy, luxury brand and did not encourage dangerous or aggressive behaviour. The company stated that it would be detrimental to its brand if it did so.
With regard to rule 3.9, the company stated that it only sponsored the event in order to put the company branding on the vehicles. The company explained that there was no drinking whilst driving, events were police supervised, and that drivers were breathalysed before participating. In response to the evening parties, the company explained that these events were moderated and that because people drove the next day, the events were usually low-key.
In response to rules 3.10 and 3.11, the company stated that it only offered samples of the product in bars and at wholesale events in order to comply with UK regulations.
The Panel’s assessment
The Panel began by noting that the sponsorship between Jatt Life and The Cannon Run was well documented on social media and included videos on the producer’s Instagram page, its YouTube channel and on The Cannon Run’s official YouTube channel. The Panel noted that while the videos fell outside of the Portman Group’s regulatory remit and were instead captured under the remit of the Advertising Standards Authority, the Panel agreed that the footage provided evidence of the behaviour and activities taking place during the Jatt Life sponsored Cannon Run and were indicative of how the sponsorship was enacted. The Panel also noted that while some of the event took place abroad, the sponsorship agreement was between two companies based in the United Kingdom and that the event, and its related activities, were primarily marketed towards UK consumers.
The Panel discussed the formal sponsorship agreement between JL Drinks and The Cannon Run, particularly in relation to Code rule 3.1 which required as part of any sponsorship agreement that all drinks companies ensured there was a recognisable commitment to promoting responsible drinking and/or supporting diversionary/ community activities; taking into account the size, scale, reach, and length of the sponsorship. The Panel considered that the sponsorship was of medium size and the international element of the event, along with well-documented social media videos of the event, meant that it had a medium size reach. The Panel agreed that the sponsorship in and of itself was likely to be acceptable under the Code and that the Code did not prevent alcohol producers from sponsoring events with motorcars or placing company branding on vehicles. However, the Panel noted that there was no clause in the sponsorship agreement between JL Drinks and The Cannon Run that addressed the promotion of responsible drinking, nor did it reference anti-drink drive messaging which it deemed was essential as part of a sponsored event linked to driving. Accordingly, the Panel upheld the complaint under Code rule 3.1.
The Panel discussed the producer’s response and specifically the claim that it did not sell miniatures to consumers and encouraged the product to be sipped and enjoyed. The Panel noted in one video available on YouTube (title: “Keeping Up with The Cannon Run on Spring Break 2021 – Part 1”, published 18th April 2021), that there was footage which showed miniature bottles of Jatt Life being handed out by the owner of the company from the boot of a car in what appeared to be a public car park. While the Panel noted that this appeared on The Cannon Run’s YouTube channel, the Panel considered that it depicted the direct actions of the producer as part of the sponsorship activity. Due to the nature of the giveaway, the Panel noted that there were no apparent checks on individuals who were being given the product, for instance to check if they were intoxicated, nor was there any evidence of an age identification process. The Panel discussed the definition of sampling in the Code and noted that it was an offer of a free alcoholic drink, to members of the public in a public place. The Panel considered that the footage appeared as though the event was held in a public place and would therefore be captured by the definition. The Panel considered that the activity breached rule 3.10 as the sampling did not comply with current licensing legislation.
The Panel discussed further footage from the producer’s social media owned content which showed scenes of partying after participants had finished driving for the day. The Panel agreed that as most of the videos appeared on the producer’s own social media channels, the activity was reflective of the wider behaviour being condoned and encouraged as part of The Cannon Run sponsorship. The Panel considered that some of the footage showed chaotic scenes which featured the free-pouring of vodka from the bottle (title: “Jatt Life – Cannon Run”, published 4th May 2021) and scenes of alcohol being consumed around a swimming pool (title: “The Jatt Life Journey – EP6 – Cannon Run – Marbs Madness”, published 15th September 2021) which the Panel considered were examples of the event encouraging irresponsible and immoderate consumption of alcohol. While the Panel noted that sampling could involve the giving away of entire bottles of alcohol, it noted there was no evidence that the bottles had been given away for free by the producer in contrast to the miniatures in a previous video. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the complaint under Code rule 3.11. The Panel also considered that at a multi-day event where participants drove between locations, it was irresponsible to consume the amount of alcohol shown where participants would be driving the next day. Accordingly, the Panel upheld the complaint under Code rule 3.9.
The Panel discussed an Instagram post by the producer (caption is: “The Cannon Run – Fuelled by Jatt Life”, published 26th October 2021) which depicted an individual driving a supercar with a voiceover describing a fuel shortage. During the video the car ran out of fuel and came to a stop, the individual then sat down by the side of the road with a bottle of Jatt Life and, before taking a drink directly from the bottle, paused, and decided to fill the car fuel tank with Jatt Life which ignited the engine and the individual drove away. The Panel acknowledged that the lid was not removed from the bottle but considered that the post further linked the Jatt Life sponsorship of The Cannon Run with alcohol and irresponsible behaviour albeit in a light-hearted manner. Whilst the Panel noted that the producer did not directly encourage the act of drink-driving the Panel concluded that it was irresponsible to link alcohol and driving indirectly by suggesting that an individual may have consumed alcohol and then resumed driving of a vehicle and found the activity in breach of Code rule 3.9.
The Panel then considered how the partying scenes tied into the brand image of the company. The Panel noted in one producer posted video an individual said “If you ain’t drinking Jatt Life then you ain’t living life” (title: “Jatt Life – Cannon Run”, published 4th May 2021.) The Panel considered that the overarching message in this particular video was that by not drinking Jatt Life, then an individual was not part of the party or social scene and breached Code rule 3.13 for implying that alcohol enhanced social success.
The Panel also considered an Instagram video on the producer’s brand page (caption is: “Introducing @boogystigz getting us ready for the Spring Break cannon run next week! It’s going to be one to remember! Jatt Life Baby!”, published 4th April 2021) which featured people wearing racing suits and crash helmets dancing poorly. The individuals were then handed Jatt Life to drink in a tongue in cheek manner through their closed helmets and the dancers were then able to do back flips and more elaborate break-dancing moves. The Panel considered it was irresponsible to show people in race-driving attire consuming alcohol and noted that while they were not seen driving a vehicle or genuinely consuming the alcohol, it was inappropriate to make a direct link between alcohol and driving and also found the activity in breach of Code rule 3.9. The Panel further considered that the video reflected the sponsorship message that drinking Jatt Life could enhance an individual’s athletic performance, which also breached Code rule 3.13.
The Panel also considered that there were scenes that showed bravado during the sponsorship, such as a man pretending to headbutt the camera whilst standing next to the owner of the company (title: “The Jatt Life Journey – EP6 – Cannon Run – Marbs Madness”, published 15th September 2021) which the Panel considered was in contravention of Code rule 3.7. In the same video, the Panel noted an individual smoking marijuana and accordingly upheld the complaint about the sponsorship for condoning anti-social behaviour under Code rule 3.7. Finally, the Panel also considered that the scenes which depicted alcohol consumption by the swimming pool as part of the sponsorship videos reflected dangerous behaviour that had been condoned by the company as part of its filming and also upheld the complaint about the activity under Code rule 3.7.
The Panel noted that some of the videos featured people who were drinking alcohol that appeared to be under-25 and that there were some young children at the pool party referenced above. The Panel considered that it was irresponsible to feature those who appeared under-25, including children, in a significant role and therefore concluded that the sponsorship breached Code rule 3.12.
The Panel then discussed whether The Cannon Run had a particular appeal to under-18s or if the company had placed its brand name or logo on merchandise which had a particular appeal to under-18s. The Panel considered that The Cannon Run was an event for supercar owners and thus, would have broad appeal to all age groups. The Panel considered that nothing in the agreement, or in the wider marketing of the event suggested there was sponsorship of individuals, activities, teams, events, tournaments, competitions, bands or celebrities that had a particular appeal to, or were primarily aimed at under-18s. The Panel therefore concluded that in respect of Code rules 3.3 and 3.4 that the sponsorship was not in breach.
The Panel considered rule 3.8 and whether the producer was sponsoring an event associated with sexual activity or sexual success. The Panel discussed the scenes at the pool party in one of the videos as evidence. The Panel concluded that whilst they were uncomfortable with some of the activity shown, it did not amount to a suggestion that there was a link between the event and sexual activity or success and did not uphold the complaint about the sponsorship under Code rule 3.8.
In summary of the above, the Panel therefore upheld the complaint in respect of Code rules 3.1, 3.7, 3.9, 3.10, 3.12 and 3.13. The Panel did not uphold the complaint in respect of Code rules 3.3, 3.4, 3.8 and 3.11.
Action by Company:
To be confirmed.