Old English Gin Complaint Not Upheld


A complaint about the packaging of Old English Gin promoting excessive drinking has not been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel).  A copy of the full decision can be read here.

The complainant believed that due to the fact that the product is sealed with a “wine-style cork” it “is less practical than a more usual spirit closure….and will encourage purchasers to drink the bottle more quickly than they would otherwise”.  

The Panel were presented with the bottle of Old English Gin sealed to gauge if it could be opened easily. The Panel proceeded to open the bottle and reseal it with the cork. Whilst disappointed with the Company’s short response, the Panel found that the bottle was straightforward to reseal; with the brand name etched upside down on the cork so that when it was inserted into the neck the writing on the cork was the right-way up. The Panel noted this design feature and that the product was unlikely to deteriorate quickly and therefore would not encourage consumers to drink the product more quickly. The Panel therefore concluded that the product did not breach Code paragraph 3.2(f). 

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, Kay Perry said:

‘‘When designing a product’s packaging, alcohol producers are encouraged to be innovative, however they must ensure that innovation is not at the expense of the Code. If they are in any doubt, the Portman Group Advisory Service is free and confidential, and responds to all enquiries within two working days.”