Company: Independent Distillers (UK) Ltd
Final Decision: 20 January 2006
Considered under the 3rd Edition of the Code.
“‘Funky Monkey’ will in my opinion appeal to underage drinkers, specifically young girls.
- the monkey character is currently a very popular icon within this age group
- flavours such as ‘kola cubes’, ‘bubble gum’ and ‘cheeky cherry’ are clearly aimed at very young (under age) consumers.”
KC Brands Ltd
Under Code paragraph 3.2(g)
A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way have a particular appeal to under-18s.
The Panel’s assessment
The producers said that before the complaint had been received, they had already decided to remove the monkey device from the labels and focus on the brand name. They said they had also decided to change the flavour names of three variants in the product range; ‘Kola Kube’ would now change to ‘Kola’, ‘Bubblegum’ would change to ‘Blue’ and ‘Cheeky Cherry’ would change to ‘Cherry’. The producers said that they had submitted the new labelling to the Portman Group Advisory Service which had advised that, in its opinion, this raised no objections under the Code.
The Panel considered that neither the name of the product range, ‘Funky Monkey’, nor the monkey silhouette on the original labels had a particular cultural resonance among under 18s. It also considered that the flavours ‘Kola Kube’, ‘Bubblegum’ and ‘Cheeky Cherry’ did not cause the product overall to have a particular appeal to under 18s. Hence, the Panel did not find the product range in breach of Code paragraph 3.2(g).
Action by company
No action required. The Panel noted, however, the labelling and flavour name changes the producers had already agreed with the Advisory Service.