Company: 10 International
Final Decision: 30 July 2007
Considered under the 3rd Edition of the Code.
“Pink elephants have for many decades been associated with drunkenness and hallucinations associated with excessive alcohol consumption or post drug taking, especially LSD symptoms”.
Member of the public, London.
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.
Under Code paragraph 3.2(c)
A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with, acceptance of, or allusion to, illicit drugs.
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 binge-drinking, drunkenness or drink-driving.
The company’s submission
The company said that the product, a rosé wine, had been created to complement spicy foods such as Asian cuisine. The brand name had been decided on because it suggested the colour of the product (Pink) and carried a suitable association with Asia (Elephant).
The Panel’s assessment
The Panel noted that a pink elephant was sometimes associated with drunken or drug-related hallucinations. It considered, however, that this association was not obvious or widely-known. It noted that the company had not played on this association in any way in the packaging of the product or in its wider marketing. Instead, there was an alternative rationale for the choice of name and the product was presented in a sophisticated way. Provided that the company continued to avoid any marketing approaches that might allude to pink elephants in a hallucinogenic sense, the Panel was satisfied that the brand name should not be seen as emphasising the product’s intoxicating effect or as associating the product with either illegal drugs or immoderate consumption. The Panel accordingly found the product not to breach Code paragraphs 3.2(a), 3.2(c) and 3.2(f).
Action by company
No action required.