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British ban on Cantona Kronenbourg ad reversed

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Eric Cantona in the advert for Kronenbourg beer. Photo: Kronenbourg/YouTube
08:55 CEST+02:00
An advert for Kronenbourg 1664 starring former footballer Eric Cantona can be shown in Britain after reviewers on Wednesday ruled it was not "misleading" consumers into believing the lager was brewed and sourced in France.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled in February that parent company Heineken UK's press campaign mistakenly implied that most hops used in the brewing process came from France.

But an independent reviewer recommended the decision be reversed following an appeal by Heineken UK.

The advertising campaign boasted: "If you find a better tasting French beer, we'll eat our berets," adding: "The French know a thing or two about taste. That's why Kronenbourg 1664 is always brewed with the aromatic Strisselspalt hop for a taste supreme."

The ASA initially said the ad was "misleading" as the hop was only one of several used to create the lager, but now accepts the beer can be legitimately described as French, as long as its exact origins are explained.

SEE ALSO: Eric Cantona arrested in London over assault

"We considered it would be acceptable to describe the product as 'French' if the ad made clear on what basis that claim was made", it said.

"Because we were satisfied that consumers would understand the association with France in the context of one of the ingredients used rather than the location of production, and because the ad contained clarification that the beer was brewed in the UK, we concluded that the ad was not misleading."

In the television advert, Cantona says: "Here in Alsace, things are a little bit different. The hop farmers are treated like the footballers of Britain. They are idolized and adored. And why not? They are living legends.

They are the men that grow the noble hops that make Kronenbourg the taste supreme."

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Small print shown at the end reveals that the lager is brewed in the UK, leading to two complaints.

Heineken UK has always 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.

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