Eric Murray cut from beer advert after complaint

Former Olympic gold medalist Eric Murray has been removed from a beer campaign after an advertising breach.

Mr Murray featured in the 'Beer - the Beautiful Truth' advertisement to promote new dietary labels found on Lion and DB beers.

The Advertising Code prohibits using people considered "heroes of the young" to advertise alcohol.

The Brewers Association says it used Mr Murray because he had already retired, as opposed to an actively competing sportsperson.

In its decision, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the "references to 'nutrition', '99 percent sugar-free' and the carbohydrates in the context of information about the content of beer... did not create a misleading impression".

Complainants had claimed that the campaign created the impression that beer was "healthy and nutritious", an assertion which was not upheld by the Authority.

The ASA partially upheld one element of the complaint, ruling that rower Eric Murray was a "hero of the young", with special appeal to minors.

Brewers Association of New Zealand Executive Director Dylan Firth says the call to include Murray in the campaign was based on the "best available information at the time".

"This took into account the fact that Eric had never been a member of the teams specified in the guidelines to the Code, and had retired from competitive rowing at the time our decision to feature him was made," Mr Firth said.

"However, we accept the Authority's ruling on this aspect of the complaint. We have already taken steps to ensure that any campaign material featuring Eric has been removed from unrestricted areas."

The 'Beer - The Beautiful Truth' campaign first launched in February.