Company: Hogsback Brewery
Breach: No
Final Decision: 12 September 2008

Considered under the 4th Edition of the Code.

Complaint summary

“Text on the side of the label reads “go over the top”, which can be interpreted as encouraging immoderate consumption.”


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


Under Code paragraph 3.2(f)

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way encourage illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption, such as drink-driving, binge-drinking or drunkenness.


The company’s submission

The company said that OTT, as well as standing for Old Tongham Tasty, was commonly used as an abbreviation for the expression “over the top”; the label statement “Go over the top” was a reference to this.  They maintained, however, that the phrase in this context was simply a reference to the full taste of the beer rather than an incitement to irresponsible drinking behaviour.

The Panel’s assessment

The Panel noted that the phrase featured with no great prominence on the side of the bottle and considered that there was nothing else on the label that implied immoderate or irresponsible consumption.  It considered that the use of the phrase was unlikely to encourage irresponsible consumption and accordingly did not uphold the complaint.

Action by company

No action required.