Company: Matthew Clark Brands Limited
Final Decision: 18 August 1997
Considered under the 1st Edition of the Code.
“We believe the name and packaging of this product suggest sexual success or prowess.”
The Portman Group
Under code paragraph 2.1(f)
Brand names and product descriptors should not suggest sexual success or prowess.
The Panel considered the statement of the Company in its letter of 25th June 1997 that it was not its intention to use the design of the packaging to suggest that the product‘s consumption could suggest sexual success or prowess, as indicated in the complaint.
The Panel was of the view that the name had sexual overtones and suggested sexual success or prowess, in contravention of Paragraph 2.1(f) of the Code. The Panel was further of the view that, had there been any doubt on the part of the Panel in deciding that the name suggested sexual success or prowess, that doubt would have been removed by considering the name in conjunction with the packaging which suggested a person dressed in black PVC, rubber or leather with a partially undone zip. Accordingly the Panel provisionally upheld the complaint under Paragraph 2.1(f).
The current Code in force does not contain any provision specifically prohibiting the suggestion of sexual success or prowess in packaging. Hence, there was no infringement of the existing Code from the packaging of the product looked at on its own. However, the nature of the packaging was considered in the context of the name, as recorded above.
Action by company
The Company stated in its letter of 25th June 1997 that the packaging to which the complaint refers is no longer on sale; the pack was only available for a short period, starting in April 1996, all volumes should by now have sold through and the Company has no plans to reintroduce it.
The Panel was pleased to note that the product was only on sale for a short period and that the Company has no plans to reintroduce it.