Company: Hobson & Friends Too Ltd.
Final Decision: 16 July 1997
Considered under the 1st Edition of the Code.
“Although the strength of the product is communicated, its alcoholic nature is not clearly communicated. Whilst this is a French product, the labels have been produced for the British market as they are mainly in English. However, the only reference on the front label to the alcoholic nature of the drink is ‘a base de vin’.”
The Panel considered whether the packaging of the product sufficiently indicates the alcoholic nature and strength of the product in accordance with paragraph 3(1).
The Panel considered that the statement of alcoholic strength is not unreasonable in size. Moreover, the name of the product invites examination of the label which clearly reveals the nature of the product. The Panel did not consider that the figure on the label is more likely to appeal to under 18s.
The Panel noted from the Company’s submission of 3 June 1997, that advice was taken of The Portman Group, presumably through the Pre-Launch Advisory Service, before the product was launched and that suggestions made by the letter were taken into account. The Panel also noted that it is made clear to those seeking advice of the Pre-Launch Advisory Service that any comments made are merely advisory: the Panel is independent and cannot be bound by any such advice given.
The Panel considered that for the above reasons that the packaging does not contravene paragraph 3(1). It, therefore, did not uphold the complaint. However, the Panel considers that it would have been preferable to have had on the label (and not vertically up the side of the label as currently) specific wording relating to the alcoholic nature of the product in more prominent letters.
Action by company
No further action required.