Company: Constellation Spirits Inc (trading as Barton Brands Ltd)
Breach: No
Final Decision: 5 December 2008

Considered under the 4th Edition of the Code.

Complaint summary

“Most written information on the bottle is in Spanish, and insufficient English is present to confirm it is an alcohol product, aside from a detachable label.”


PIPC (as part of their audit of compliance with the new Code).


Under Code paragraph 3.1

The alcoholic nature of a drink should be communicated on its packaging with absolute clarity.


The company’s submission

The company said that, after reviewing the product’s packaging in light of the complaint, they had decided to make certain changes to make the alcoholic nature clearer.  These changes were to revise the format and positioning of the statement of alcoholic strength on the front label and to include the caption “Contains alcohol” on the back label.  These changes would be in effect by the end of December 2008.

The Panel’s assessment

The Panel noted the company’s action.  It considered, however, that the original label (i.e. the version that was subject to the complaint) already made the product’s alcoholic nature sufficiently clear in that, although the textual references to alcohol were not particularly prominent, the overall design and presentation of the drink was very suggestive that it contained alcohol.  It nonetheless welcomed the company’s action to reinforce this message.  It accordingly did not find the product’s packaging in breach of Code paragraph 3.1.

Action by company

No further action required.