Heady brew of Franz Ferdinand and a lager firm fuels fears over drinking

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The Independent Online

Franz Ferdinand, probably the most hyped band of 2004, have signed a controversial nationwide advertising campaign to promote Scotland's best-selling alcoholic drink.

Franz Ferdinand, probably the most hyped band of 2004, have signed a controversial nationwide advertising campaign to promote Scotland's best-selling alcoholic drink.

Fresh from a triumphant performance at Glastonbury, the Glasgow band are due to perform this weekend at Scotland's biggest music festival, T in the Park.

The 60,000 audience on Sunday will not only get to see Franz Ferdinand themselves but a film advert for Tennent's Lager, in which the band will be shown on giant screens performing "Jacqueline", the opening track from their debut album.

The unprecedented tie-up between a pop band and a brewer (Tennent's is part of the Interbrew group) will concern advertising watchdogs and alcohol abuse prevention groups.

The Portman Group, a trust set up by the brewing industry to promote sensible drinking, said last night that it would be watching the advertisement to ensure that it did not breach new guidelines that forbid the promotion of alcohol to under-18s.

David Poley, the group's director of compliance and good practice, said: "The rules don't say that you can't show musicians but what it really comes down to is who do the musicians appeal to - under 18s or over 18s."

Franz Ferdinand's deal with Tennent's was signed a year ago, before the band had built its international profile. Alex Kapranos, the lead singer, said that the band had agreed to the campaign because it was intended to promote the various festivals that Tennent's sponsors - events that the band admires. "We don't really see it so much as doing it for Tennent's. If it had been a Tennent's ad we would not have done it." But the press release for the campaign describes the film as "the latest advert from Scotland's favourite pint".

Tennent's said that the advert was about the brand and its long tradition of involvement in Scottish music rather than the beer.

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