A complaint about the packaging of Heineken UK’s Spectre edition bottle and secondary packaging for promoting sexual success/activity; violent behaviour and immoderate/irresponsible consumption has not been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP).  A copy of the full decision can be read here.

The complainant, Alcohol Concern believed that the use of a trademark silhouette of the James Bond character, known for his bravado, heavy alcohol consumption and sexual success, on an alcoholic beverage breached the Portman Group Code under sections 3.2(b), (d) and (f).

The Panel concluded that the average consumer would not draw a link between themselves and Bond and that the stylised motif of James Bond in his trademark silhouette stance holding a gun served mainly to draw attention to the wider James Bond brand rather than violent behaviour. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.2(b).

They also deliberated whether the imagery used on the product suggested any association with sexual activity/success or with immoderate/ irresponsible consumption. The Panel could not find any reason why the use of the imagery would lead consumers to believe that the product suggested an association with sexual success/activity or would encourage the product to be immoderately or irresponsibly consumed. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rules 3.2(d) or (f).

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, Henry Ashworth said:

‘‘It is important for all producers to be mindful that the images they use on their products, however well-known, do not promote violent behaviour; immoderate consumption or sexual success. The Portman Group’s free advisory service is always on hand to support producers, visit our website for their contact details.”