Covid-19 facemasks and vodka adverts among those banned by Advertising Standards Authority

Evaq facemasks and Au Vodka have both had their advertisements banned.

An ad that mislead the public by stating their facemask could kill Covid-19 and a vodka ad have both been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The website for Evaq facemasks showed an image of a woman wearing a facemask with the “Evaq” logo and text stating: “Anti Viral Face Mask kills all viruses on contact.”

Further text reads: “The Evaq mask has been created to help protect the wearer from both airborne and contact infection.”

Credit: PA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers would understand the claims to mean that Covid-19 and other viruses would be killed as soon as they had contact with the Evaq mask, and therefore the mask could prevent transmission and help protect the wearer from infection.

It said: “We considered that the testing did not take into account how the abilities of the coating would be affected by factors involved in the real-life use of the mask, such as moisture or temperature changes from the wearer’s breathing.

“Although the active substance used in the product had been approved, we considered that we had not seen adequate evidence that Covid-19 and other viruses were killed on contact with the Evaq mask, thus helping to protect wearers from infection. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading and breached the Code.”

The ad claimed the facemask was 99% effective against viruses.

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Evaq to ensure that they did not state or imply that their masks could kill viruses, including Covid-19, thus preventing transmission, if they did not have sufficient evidence to substantiate their claims.”

Another ad has been banned for encouraging excessive drinking and linking alcohol with driving and featuring a rapper aged under 25.

Instagram posts by AU Vodka in April featured images of the rappers Dutchavelli, Ghetts and Chipmunk, all surrounded by bottles of the spirit.

The Dutchavelli post showed him pouring a bottle of the spirit on to his mouth and teeth while holding another bottle in his other hand, while Ghetts was pictured surrounded by 13 more AU Vodka bottles.

Another post featured rapper Aitch holding up two bottles of AU Vodka.

Other posts featured a man sitting in a forklift truck holding a bottle of AU Vodka and a glass containing the drink, a man sitting at a desk holding an AU Vodka bottle to his ear like a telephone surrounded by money and 17 bottles of AU Vodka and a man sitting in a plane holding an AU Vodka bottle to his ear like a telephone. The table in front of him included money, several bottles of AU Vodka and a glass containing the drink.

The ASA said this ad could link excessive drinking with using machinery or driving.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) challenged whether the ads encouraged excessive drinking, linked alcohol with the use of potentially dangerous machinery or driving and, in the case of the Aitch ad, featured someone who was under 25 years old.

AU Vodka said it did not believe the ads encouraged excessive drinking and said the numerous “aesthetically pleasing” gold bottles were used for decorative purposes.

However, it said it had removed the ad featuring Dutchavelli as it felt it could cause confusion around encouraging excessive drinking, the ads featuring Chipmunk and the man in a forklift to ensure that there was no connection between drinking and driving or the operation of heavy machinery, and the ad featuring Aitch.

The ASA said alcohol ads had to be socially responsible and contain nothing likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise.