Company: B2 Budgen Express 420
Final Decision: 26 April 2002
Considered under the 2nd Edition of the Code.
This morning I went into a convenience store called B2 [Budgen Express] on Whitechapel Road, [London), next to the tube station. On the counter display was a box of alcoholic vodka shots called Sidekick. It was clearly labelled as alcoholic, at 20% abv. They were packaged in orange coloured round tubs in what I can only compare to tubs of lip balm. Like alco–pops these are targeted at a young audience of 14–18 year olds and are placed in a highly visible area normally reserved for confectionery.”
Member of the public, London
Under Code paragraph 4.1(b)
All retailers and any other persons selling direct to the public should ensure that all alcoholic drinks are clearly merchandised as alcoholic products either in a separate retail area for alcoholic drinks or specifically marketed as alcoholic when on general display in a multi-product store and be identified as being for sale to adults only.
The Panel’s assessment
The Code states that alcoholic drinks should be “clearly merchandised as alcoholic products either in a separate retail area for alcoholic drinks or specifically marketed as alcoholic when on general display in a multi–product store and be identified as being for sale to adults only”(Code paragraph 4.1 (b).
The complainant alleged that the product was displayed on a counter “in a highly visible area normally reserved for confectionery“. This allegation was not contested by Budgen Stores Limited (the company) and was corroborated by the Complaints Officer who confirmed that, at the time of her visit to the store, the product was displayed on a counter next to the cash register in close proximity to chocolate bars and several metres away from the designated retail area for alcoholic products.
The Panel considered that insufficient care had been taken to ensure that the product was clearly merchandised as an alcoholic product and consequently upheld the complaint under paragraph 4.1(b) of the Code.
Action by company
The Panel was pleased to note that Budgens Stores Limited has confirmed that the location of the product within the store in question was an inadvertent breach of company policy and noted that action had been taken to address the “local level” breach at the store in question.