Company: Alcohol Brands Ltd
Final Decision: 10 March 2009
Considered under the 4th Edition of the Code.
“In our view, the product … could appeal to under-18s. It is difficult to see … that the product is alcoholic as the ABV of 4% is on the neck of the label.”
Gin and Vodka Association of Great Britain
Under Code paragraph 3.2(h)
A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way have a particular appeal to under 18s.
Under Code paragraph 3.1
The alcoholic nature of a drink should be communicated on its packaging with absolute clarity
The company’s submission
The company maintained that the labelling on both Baby Blue and Baby Pink clearly indicated that the products contained alcohol.
The company denied that the packaging appealed particularly to under-18s. They acknowledged that the product was promoted on the basis of its relatively low calorie content but maintained that this attribute was of appeal to all ages, not under-18s in particular.
The Panel’s assessment
The Panel concurred, noting that the alcoholic strength statement on the relatively uncluttered front label was supplemented by further references on the back label. Accordingly, the Panel did not find the product in breach of Code paragraph 3.1.
The Panel, however, considered that the names “Baby Blue” and “Baby Pink”, in combination with the bright blue and pink colours, gave the products a childish feel that would appeal particularly to under-18s, and particularly girls. Furthermore, this appeal was exacerbated by the packaging’s emphasis upon calorie content and by the childish font in which the brand name was written. Accordingly, the Panel found the product in breach of Code paragraph 3.2(h).
Action by Company
The company agreed to amend the product’s packaging in consultation with the Portman Group’s Advisory Service.