The Independent Complaints Panel recently received two complaints about Lost and Grounded’s products, Keller Pils and Running with Sceptres. The complaint against Keller Pils was not upheld and the complaint against Running with Sceptres was upheld. A copy of both full decisions are available here.

The complainant, a member of the public, expressed concern that both products were likely to appeal to children. They were concerned that Running with Sceptres featured a parade of prominent cartoon animals on the can which they said appeared to be inspired by the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. They also thought that the cartoon of an animal rowing a boat on the Keller Pils can made an association with the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows.

In reviewing Keller Pils, the Panel thought that whilst the retro storybook imagery could appeal to today’s children, in this case, the label showed a stylised landscape in a graphic style, using muted colours and without any prominent elements that had particular appeal to under-18s.

In response to Running with Sceptres, they noted that:

After considering the overall impression conveyed by each of the cans, the complaint against Keller Pils was not upheld and the complaint against Running with Sceptres was upheld under Code paragraph:

  • 3.2(h) – A drinks name, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not have a particular appeal to under-18s.

Commenting on the decision to uphold the complaint against Running with Sceptres the Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Jenny Watson, said:

“Lost and Grounded created an engaging  can, but unfortunately the Panel felt that the prominence of the cartoon animals made it particularly appealing to children. We understand that producers want to use creative illustrators and we would encourage all producers to make full use of the Portman Group’s free advisory service before launching a product.”

A Retailer Alert Bulletin has now been issued for Running with Sceptres.