Snapchat is a wildly popular app, especially with teenagers, that includes a number of special lenses that alter the way you look. It's also the perfect place for sponsorship, with companies all over the world developing branded lenses for people to play with. One of those companies was Diaego, with a Captain Morgan-themed lens, and the Advertising Standards Authority is having none of it.
The lens made users look like the Captain Morgan mascot, and included the phrase "live like the captain", cheering, and two drinks glasses clinking together. The ASA is upholding a complaint that the lens might make drinking seem more appealing to children, seeing as how a lot of Snapchat users are under the legal drinking age of 18.
“We considered that the specific interactive and augmented elements of the lens, such as the user’s face being made to look like a buccaneer, the clinking glasses, references to “Captain” and the cheering, were likely to appeal particularly to those under 18.”
Diaego's defence was that the lens was targeted at adult audiences with a registered age over 18. The ASA then criticised this defence, since Snapchat's age system is completely unverified, and it's not uncommon for people to lie about their age to gain access to some sort of online service.
As a side effect Diaego has actually suspended its deal with Snapchat across the world, with the intention of assessing age verification systems on the app. While Snapchat is fairly limited in how it can verify a user's real age, the fact that Diaego spend a ridiculous amount of money on advertising (£1.8 billion in 2017, according to Statista) and that Snapchat isn't exactly a big earner, it's going to have to do something about the issue.
Heineken is one brand that's been particularly wary of that issue, and despite partnerships the dutch company parted ways with Snapchat because its audience was too young. So it'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the near future. For now at least Snapchat can fall back on the newly-announced three-second ads and hope that doesn't backfire. [ASA via The Next Web]