Company: The Original Cider Company
Breach: Yes
Final Decision: 26 June 2008

Considered under the 4th Edition of the Code.

Complaint summary

“This product is in clear breach of section 3.2(a) for the above reasons re: ‘the intoxicating effect’”.


National Association of Cider Makers


Under Code paragraph 3.2(a)

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way have the alcoholic strength, relatively high alcohol content, or the intoxicating effect, as a dominant theme.


The company’s submission

The company said that the brand had been on the market for a number of years without attracting complaint.  They stated that the brand name was created to celebrate the eclipse of the sun, hence the picture of the sun on the label.  Their preferred brand name of Eclipse had already been registered as a trademark by another company and they therefore had chosen Blackout as an alternative.

The Panel’s assessment

The Panel considered that, particularly in the context of a relatively strong cider, the name Blackout carried strong connotations of the drink’s potential effect on the consumer, i.e. alcohol-induced unconsciousness, and was therefore very unwise.  Accordingly, it decided to uphold the complaint under Code paragraph 3.2(a).

Action by company

The company said it would re-launch the product under a new brand name.