Company: United Wines
Final Decision: 13 March 2014
Considered under the 4th Edition of the Code.
Giving higher alcoholic strength undue emphasis: The packaging of this particular drink places emphasis on ‘FULL STRENGTH WINE’ which is in red typeface, with the intention that this message stands out.
The Portman Group (acting in lieu of complainant as part of 2012 Code Compliance Audit).
Under Code paragraph 3.2(a)
A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way have the alcoholic strength, relatively high alcohol content, or the intoxicating effect, as a dominant theme.
The company’s submission
The company said that the high strength statement was intended to act as a warning rather than a promotional message.
The company went on to add that the packaging in use at the time of the complaint would not be in circulation after August 2014 as they recognised the concern expressed and intended to send a new label to the Advisory Service for approval in due course.
The Panel’s assessment
The Panel debated whether the phrase ‘full strength’ placed due or undue emphasis on the strength of the wine. The Panel noted that ‘full strength wine’ was in red font and stood out on a comparatively plain label with the remaining text displayed in black font. The Panel, however, felt that the phrase ‘full strength wine’ was used as a descriptor to inform consumers of the higher-than-average strength and that it was not placing undue emphasis on the strength but rather providing a warning.
In light of this, the Panel concluded that the packaging of Mundies did not breach Code rule 3.2(a).
Action by company
No action required.