Sweet Little Glitter Bomb Bubble Gum Gin Liqueur, Sweet Little Glitter Bomb Love Heartz, & Sweet Little Pink Vanilla Candy Floss Gin Based Liqueur Decisions Upheld

10/07/2019

10th July 2019

For immediate release

The Independent Complaints Panel has upheld a recent complaint about Sweet Little Drinks (Sweet Little Glitter Bubble Gum Gin Liqueur, Sweet Little Glitter Bomb Love Heartz and Sweet Little Pink Vanilla Candy Floss Gin Liqueur). The complaint was referred to us from the Advertising Standards Authority, with concern expressed that the Sweet Little Drinks appear to promote alcohol to children through the labels, artwork, product names, the colouring and bottle shapes, along with the brand name “Sweet Little”.

Reviewing the products in detail, the Panel felt: 

  • They may have a particular appeal to children and look like part of a children’s confectionary range.
  • They could be considered to look more similar in design to a bubble bath product than an alcoholic drink, if they were placed in a home environment.
  • The face in the “Sweet Little” logo was the profile of young girl’s face and conveyed the impression that the brand was not targeting an adult market.
  • The direct link to the Love Hearts sweet brand together with the Love Heart style of font used and the dark pink colour of the drink, could lead the product to appeal to teenage girls.
  • In the case of Sweet Little Glitter Bomb Bubble Gum Gin Liqueur and Glitter Bomb Love Heartz Gin Liqueur, despite containing positive alcoholic descriptors on the bottle, these were in a difficult to read font on a clear label on a glitter based product which may cause further consumer confusion as to the alcoholic nature of the product.

The Panel concluded that the cumulative impact of “sweetie” cues on each individual label, together with the “Sweet Little” brand name and logo, had unintentionally created a particular appeal to under 18s in each case.  The Panel felt that Sweet Little Drinks need to make an effort to ensure that they do not cause any consumer confusion or appeal to children, by going to greater lengths when communicating their alcoholic nature. The Panel therefore accordingly upheld the complaint against the products under Code Rule 3.2(h). 

Commenting on the decision by the Independent Complaints Panel, Hani Fashhou, Chief Executive, Sweet Little Drinks said: “Whilst we are happy that the Independent Complaints Panel accepted that we never intentionally aimed our products at children, we are also very grateful that the Panel have identified that these products may appeal to under 18s. We are now working very closely with The Portman Group’s Advisory Service to comply with the Code and rebrand Sweet Little Drinks, which will be ready to launch in the very near future.”

Commenting on the decision by the Independent Complaints Panel, a Portman Group spokesperson said: “This decision by the Independent Complaints Panel highlights once again that producers should steer away from using imagery in marketing and labelling that could have particular appeal to children. Producers should think carefully about what is conveyed by the overall impression of the product and speak to our Advisory Service if in any doubt. We are pleased that Sweet Little Drinks are working with us to amend their product range.”

ENDS