A complaint against Disco Forklift Mango Pale Ale produced by Drygate Brewing Company has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel) under the Code of Practice on alcohol marketing. The final decision can be read here.

The complainant, Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership, raised a number of issues against the product, including appeal to under-18s, associations with bravado, and anti-social behaviour, associations with illicit drugs and for depicting images of under-25s.

The Panel considered the overall impression conveyed by the product, in particular, the bright colours, illustrations and the accompanying language on the side of the can, which included the words ‘mango’, ‘fandango’, ‘tropical’, ‘juicy’, ‘fruits’ and ‘sweet’. The Panel concluded that the combination of colours, the language used, and the nature and behaviour of the cartoon illustrations, on a 330ml can, meant that the product did have, however unintentionally, a particular appeal to under-18s. Accordingly, the Panel found the product in breach of Code rule 3.2(h).

The Panel also upheld the complaint under Code rule 3.2(b) for suggesting an association with dangerous behaviour.

Following the decision Drygate Brewing Company are re-designing the artwork of the product.

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, John Timothy said:

“Innovative and colourful designs are not problematic in themselves, but producers have to be mindful of the overall impression of the product and design. I commend Drygate for the responsible and constructive way in which they’ve responded to this complaint and the speed with which they’ve committed to amend the design.”