A complaint about 3 Pugs Gin produced by Silverback Distillers has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel.) A copy of the full decision can be read here.
The complainant, a member of the public, believed that the product was aimed at an under-18’s audience. The complaint was upheld under Code rule 3.2(h), which states that a drink, its packaging and any promotional material should not in any direct or indirect way have a particular appeal to under-18s.
The Panel considered the overall packaging of the product. They concluded that the use of the descriptor ‘pugalicious,’ description of the ‘bubblegum’ flavour on the labelling and the fact that the product was a pink coloured gin were not in themselves problematic. However, the Panel felt that when these factors were considered alongside the depiction of the dogs as cartoon pugs in a hot air balloon overlooking a Willy Wonka-like sweet land across a pink liquid, then it was likely to have a particular appeal to under-18s.
A Portman Group spokesperson commented: “This decision once again highlights that producers should steer clear of references and imagery related to childhood and childhood memories. They should think carefully about what is conveyed by the overall impression of the product and speak to our advisory service if in any doubt.”