Two complaints about the packaging of CollaGin suggesting anti-aging and beauty benefits have been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel).  A copy of the full decision can be read here.

The complainants, both members of the public, believed that the use of phrases such as ‘the elixir of youth’ and ‘anti-aging botanicals’ as well as accompanying marketing slogans on the product website and social media, such as ‘skin and tonic’, associated the product with therapeutic effects such as skincare, beauty and anti-aging, thus breaching the Portman Group Code under rule 3.2(j).

The Panel considered the name and marketing of the product. It noted that the product contained collagen, which is associated with beauty and anti-aging, and that the packaging included phrases such as ‘the elixir of youth’ and ‘beauty drink’. It also noted that quotes from the company in media articles and on their own social media channels created an atmosphere in which the drink was being associated with beauty and anti-aging properties. The Panel agreed that the packaging suggested the product had therapeutic qualities or could help with the consumer’s appearance in some way. Therefore, the Panel upheld the complaint under Code rule 3.2(j).

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, Kay Perry said:

‘‘Alcohol cannot be marketed on the basis of any health claims and producers must be particularly careful not to create a link between alcohol products and any therapeutic claims such as anti-ageing properties or rejuvenating effects. If a producer is unsure, they can contact the Portman Group’s Advisory Service which is free and confidential. We are pleased that the company has contacted the Advisory Service for guidance on appropriate changes to the product and packaging.”

The Portman Group, which provides the Secretariat to the Independent Complaints Panel, has issued a Retailer Alert Bulletin (RAB), instructing supermarkets, off-licences, convenience stores and other alcohol retailers not to place orders for CollaGin, in its current packaging after 29 October 2017. The company has contacted the Portman Group’s Advisory Service for guidance on appropriate changes to the product and packaging.

Notes to editors:

The full ruling from the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel) can be readhere and all complaint decisions made by the Panel are available on the Portman Group website.

  1. The Portman Group’s Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks applies to all pre-packaged alcoholic drinks and the promotional activities of all drinks producers. A copy of the Code may be downloaded from the Portman Group website.
  2. Portman Group code rule 3.2 (j) states that: “A drink, its packaging or promotion should not suggest that the product has therapeutic properties or can enhance mental or physical capabilities.”
  3. The Panel, which hears complaints, is chaired by Jenny Watson. The other members of the Panel are: Rachel Childs, Claire Fowler, Daniel Jourdan, Graeme McKenzie, Professor Roy Light, Doreen McIntyre, Professor Isabel Szmigin and Elisabeth Ribbans. More information on the Panel can be found on the Portman Group website.
  4. Since the Code was introduced in 1996, the packaging and/or marketing of over 140 drinks have been found to breach the Code. In the case of a Code breach concerning a drink’s packaging or point-of-sale material, a timetable for implementing the necessary changes – not normally exceeding three months – will be supplied in writing to the company concerned. Retailers may be notified of the decision taken by the Independent Complaints Panel and requested not to replenish stocks or point-of-sale material of any product found in breach of the Code, after the date specified by the Code Secretariat.
  5. The Portman Group provides a free and confidential advisory service for alcohol producers to check products prior to launch and seek advice on responsible alcohol marketing. Over 2000 separate advice requests have been answered since 2010.  Email: advice@localhost.
  6. The Portman Group is the responsibility body for the alcohol industry. It is funded by its 9 member companies: AB InBev UK; Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands UK; SHS Drinks (formerly Beverage Brands UK); Carlsberg UK; Diageo GB; Heineken UK; Molson Coors Brewing Company UK; Pernod Ricard UK; Mast-Jägermeister UK.