Company: Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream Liqueur Co. Ltd
Breach: Yes
Final Decision: 17 September 2004

Considered under the 3rd Edition of the Code.

Complaint summary

“I was shopping yesterday and was somewhat horrified to see bottles           of ‘X on the Beach’…It would be very clear to anyone what the X stood for and, indeed, when said, can be easily misunderstood as Sex etc etc…this seems to me to be a clear breach of your Code.”


Member of the public, Surrey.


Under Code paragraph 3.2(d)

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with sexual success.


The Panel’s assessment

The Panel noted the producers’ assertion that they had not intended any association between the product name and sexual success and that they would not expect such an association to be inferred from the product label. It noted that the product had been on sale for over four years and that the previous edition of the Code had been in force when it was launched. It also noted the producers’ arguments that if ‘X’ could be inferred as an abbreviation of the word ‘sex’, ‘Sex on the Beach’ was nevertheless a well-known name for a popular cocktail that had been sold and recognised worldwide for many years.

The Panel noted that the product label did not contain any explicit sexual references and the company’s assertion that it had not intended to associate the product with sexual success. The Panel nevertheless considered that the flavour name would be seen as a play on the well-known cocktail name ‘Sex on the Beach’. The Panel considered that in view of alcohol’s potential to impair judgement and affect behaviour, to link indirectly alcohol and sexual activity in a drink’s name was undesirable because it might encourage and/or trivialise excessive consumption and potentially harmful attitudes and behaviour.  It considered that Code paragraph 3.2(d) was designed to prevent such marketing approaches. The Panel concluded that because the flavour name ‘X on the Beach’ was a clear play on the flavour name ‘Sex on the Beach’ which itself contained a direct or indirect association with sexual success, the product was in breach of Code paragraph 3.2(d).

Action by company

The producers agreed to liaise with the Advisory Service for guidance on changing the product name in order to comply with the Code.