Savanna Cider has issued a statement distancing itself from what it calls “irresponsible and damaging consumer-generated social media activity”.
This comes after the brand was repeatedly tagged in a series of social media posts, dubbed “Savanna Challenge”, showing consumers downing Savanna bottles in one go or balancing them on their heads and other body parts.
All of this as the country is in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, warranting the need for social distancing along with increased responsibility in public spaces and at events.
Guys, kanti what exactly is in Savanna????? pic.twitter.com/Vytvi3ml1r
— DripDonDada (@MandyG_04) January 3, 2021
Guys please rest… Yaz Savanna will kill us dead… pic.twitter.com/tx3LYQiF8o
— Baki wa lepantsula. (@REALBUCKS1) January 1, 2021
Its always the savanna bottle ???? pic.twitter.com/RAXsUhVGxb
— Big.eddie (@WhoIssJunior) December 28, 2020
Ohns, what do they out in savanna ai? Asking for myself. pic.twitter.com/YoSuRF1KSy
— LOCAL MAN (@Xhipungu) December 30, 2020
Savanna said the challenge was initiated by consumers.
“[It] is in no way initiated, supported or promoted by the Savanna brand,” according to its marketing manager, Eugene Lenford.
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“We promote responsible drinking and encourage consumers to engage and continue to tag the brand on their responsible and safe memorable moments. We do not encourage binge drinking or any kind of risky behaviour and we ask that people pace themselves and know their limit,” added Lenford in a statement.
Lenford further stated that the brand had paused all branded promotion across all channels due to the recent alcohol ban in the level 3 lockdown.
He promised that the brand would continue to monitor social media activity, and maintain their efforts to drive responsible messaging and behaviour into 2021.
According to the brand, their increased popularity with South African consumers over many years had made it an “absolute priority for the brand to promote responsible consumption and behaviour”, adding that it was taking its influence and role in the promotion of moderation and responsible drinking very seriously.
“The brand actively promotes Covid safety initiatives like staying at home, social distancing and the wearing of masks. And a number of Arrive Alive messages to prevent drunk driving.”