Company: Ramsgate Brewery
Breach: Yes
Final Decision: 31 May 2012

Considered under the 4th Edition of the Code.

Complaint Summary

On the Ramsgate brewery’s website…there is an image of a pump clip design for a beer named “Dark Conspiracy” – the image appears to be David Bailey’s portrait of the east-end gangsters the Kray Twins, I would have thought this would contravene 3.2b – suggest any association with bravado,or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or antisocial behaviour.


Member of the public


Under Code paragraph 3.2(b)

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social behaviour.


The company’s submission

The company said it produced a wide range of speciality beers throughout any one year and the artwork for each features the name of the beer, a two or three word indication of the style and a stylised illustration.

The company explained that the name was chosen to reflect both the style and origin of the beer and the illustration reflected some element of the name and character of the beer. The company went on to say that the stylised drawing of the Kray Twins was chosen because it felt it illustrated the name perfectly, conjuring up thoughts of the famous conspiracy between gangsters, the press and politicians.

The company asserted that it had not acted irresponsibly. They pointed to the beer images on their website which they felt demonstrated this point.

The Panel’s assessment

The Panel acknowledged that the company had not deliberately set out to associate their product with aggression and violence but, nonetheless, considered that there were more appropriate images to illustrate the conspiracy connection.

Furthermore, the Panel felt that the Kray Twins were intrinsically linked with violence and aggression, were still relevant and contemporary, and consumers would make the connection with them and the level of violence they used; the fact that the company had used the image suggested that the company still thought they were relevant. The Panel did not object to the name ‘Dark Conspiracy’, but concluded that the image had direct associations with violence and aggression and, accordingly, it found the image in breach of Code paragraph 3.2(b).

Action by Company

The company agreed to cease the use of the image with immediate effect.