A complaint about the packaging of Crest Super promoting irresponsible drinking has not been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel). A copy of the full decision can be read here.
The complainant, Medway Council, believed that the combination of the strength of the product plus the fact the product was served in a non-resealable can encouraged consumers to drink immoderately. The complainant stated “The number of units in one can is in excess of the government’s daily recommended guidelines of 2-3 units a day for a woman and 3-4 units for a man” thus breaching the Portman Group Code under paragraph 3.2(f).
The product was brought to the attention of the Panel prior to the consultation on the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) 2016 Low Risk Drinking Guidelines and was put on hold until the Guidelines Review had concluded. The Panel noted that the current CMOs’ guidelines did not contain a daily or single occasion drinking guideline, and the Panel could not infer from the evidence presented to the CMOs by the Guidelines Development Group that 5 units on a single occasion was an immoderate (whether because of increased risk to health or safety or otherwise) level of drinking. The Panel concluded that there was insufficient evidence to find a breach of Code paragraph 3.2(f).
Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, Kay Perry said:
‘‘Producers must keep in mind the rules of the Portman Group Code whilst designing the packaging of their products. The industry is constantly innovating, and should a producer feel unsure, the Portman Group Advice Team can be contacted for free and confidential advice.”