Company: Booker plc
Final Decision: 6 November 1997
Considered under the 1st Edition of the Code
“The name of this product suggests an association with violent, aggressive, dangerous and anti–social imagery. This image is furthered by the style of handwriting.”
Health Education Authority
Under Code paragraph 2.1(e)
Brand names and product descriptors should not suggest an association with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social imagery of behaviour.
Under Code paragraph 3.8
Packaging and point of sale materials should not predominantly appeal to under 18s.
The Company had confirmed that the product had been deleted from its portfolio and indicated that all remaining stocks would be sold through the trade by the end of November 1997.
The Panel was of the view that the word “mad” has various meanings, only some of which have aggressive connotations,
The Panel did not find that the word ‘mad‘ used as part of the name of this product had an association with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti–social imagery or behaviour. Hence, the Panel did not uphold the complaint under Paragraph 2.1(e) of the Code.
The Panel did, however, find that the “spooky” style of lettering and the frivolity of the design on the bottle gave a juvenile impression. The Panel decided that the packaging is likely to appeal predominantly to under 18’s and therefore upheld the complaint under Paragraph 3.8 of the Code.
Action by company
Under the circumstances, the Panel was pleased to note that this drink is no longer in production, and that the Company has guaranteed it will not be re-introduced.