Company: The Gift Business (exclusively for ASDA Stores Ltd)
Final Decision: 14 February 2007
Considered under the 3rd Edition of the Code.
“The pack contains a mug, small Baileys and a soft toy bear. It has a clear label stating that it is not suitable for under 18s but contains a bear that is very suitable for a small child….. My biggest concern with this product is that the pack is designed to attract children and I don’t think that is right as it has alcohol inside. It is quite difficult to explain this to a 6 year old who picks this up in store.”
Member of the public, London.
Under Code paragraph 3.2(g)
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.
The company’s submission
The Gift Business maintained that the gift pack was quite obviously not designed to attract children. They pointed out that a prominent label on the front of the gift pack stated “Contains alcohol. Not suitable for under 18s” and argued that the bear was packaged and positioned in such a way as to diminish its potential visual appeal to a young child before purchase.
The Panel’s assessment
The Panel, however, considered that the teddy bear was clearly visible and would cause the gift pack to have an appeal to under 18s. This appeal was reinforced by the overall appearance of the gift pack which, the Panel noted, was brightly coloured. The Panel considered that the inclusion of the sticker did not reduce the appeal of the product to under 18s except in so far as it partially obscured the teddy bear. The Panel noted that the gift pack was appearing in an environment in which it would be expected readily to be seen by under 18s, and concluded that the visual appeal of the gift pack was such that it would have a particular appeal to this audience. The Panel therefore concluded that the gift pack was in breach of Code paragraph 3.2(g).