Twickenham Brewery


Member of the public


“I would like to express deep concerns about the name, branding and pump clip design of Twickenham Brewery’s ale Naked Ladies.

“In itself, the school-child sniggering tone of the name is offensive, representing outmoded and sexist attitudes to women which should have no place in public life, and certainly not in any industry that wishes to survive in the 21st century.

“Moreover, from my recent experience of ordering a pint in a London pub in which this was the only available real ale, the name of the beer and pump clip imagery present real problems of offence and embarrassment. As a middle-aged man, the experience of saying the name of the beer to the young woman serving at the bar was awkward and unsettling for all concerned. As a pub-goer, I would obviously prefer not to be made uncomfortable by the simple act of ordering a pint. More importantly, bar staff should be able to go to work without being subjected to sexist and sexualised language and imagery which, given age/power differentials with customers, could well be interpreted as harassment or abuse.

“I therefore strongly suggest that the name and branding be changed so that pub-goers can enjoy this otherwise excellent beer without concern for perpetuating the kind of sexist bigotry which should have long been consigned to the dustbin of history.

 “The name: I understand that the justification of the name “Naked Ladies” is that it’s named of a statue near the Twickenham brewery. This is not the name given by the sculptor; the statue is thought to be a representation of Oceanids. The statue is colloquially known as The Naked Ladies. However, the beer name removes the definite article (the), however, which is a subtle but important difference. The Naked Ladies arguably refers to a statue. Naked Ladies (as the beer is named) places focus on nudity and gender.

 “The pump clip: Following the Unshaven Maiden verdict the rationale of the decision does seem to hold here. The shading draws attention to the breasts, the hop flower placement is, well, very much suggestive. Over the years the clip has become more stylised and further from an accurate representation of the statue. It isn’t immediately obvious that this relates to a real-life statue.”


Under Code paragraph 3.3

A drink’s name, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not cause serious or widespread offence.


The company’s submission

The company stated that Naked Ladies was a best-selling beer and had been available for over 19 years. The company explained that it was one of a range of beers which were all named after local landmarks, with the name ‘Naked Ladies’ relating to statues at York House, the home of Richmond and Twickenham Council. While the statues had no official name, locally they had become known as the ‘Naked Ladies’ and usage of the local name had transferred more formally with the statues also listed as an entity with Historic England. The company explained that in addition to this, the name was also used to refer to the statues in several other sources, including The York House Society, reflecting that the name was well known by the general public.

The company explained that the pump clip included a graphical representation of the largest statue and it had used such branding for approximately 10 years. The company explained that at all stages, it endeavored to ensure the link between the name and the statue was obvious and clear. This included a description of where the name derived on the company’s website and on the packaging of the bottles which referenced the local landmark.

The company referenced the wording of Code rule 3.3. which stated that a name would need to cause ‘serious’ or ‘widespread’ offence to be in breach of the Code and stated that the name was descriptive as opposed to pejorative or derogatory. The company explained that similar names were used to describe plants such as the Amaryllis Belladonna, known as the Naked Lady Lilly which were commonplace at garden centers. The company stated that there was no inference of sexual activity in the name of the beer, nor had it attempted to use the name as a double entendre in any of its marketing communications. The company explained that the image used on the pump clip was highly stylised and an extremely low definition of the female form which removed any risk of sexualisation in contrast to two similar cases considered by the Panel, namely Quickie Wine and Unshaven Maiden.

The company noted that the decision against Unshaven Maiden reflected that the figure was life-like and disproportionate in context. The company stated that in contrast, the image used for the Naked Ladies pump clip was not lifelike and the form was in proportion to the original statue. The company explained that shading was used on the statue’s face, arms and legs and did not highlight or draw attention to the statue’s breasts or any part of the body in isolation. The company stated that the placement of hops on the image was not suggestive or teasing as the hops covered a large area from stomach to thigh and when combined with the inclusion of other hops on the pump clip gave the impression of a ring of hops around the statue and did not draw attention to any particular body part.

The company stated that it did not believe that the name caused widespread offence as the drink had been distributed nationally in both the off-trade and the on-trade for 19 years without complaint.

The Panel’s assessment

The Panel considered whether the Naked Ladies name or artwork on the pump clip could cause serious or widespread offence as raised by the complainant.

The Panel discussed the product name ‘Naked Ladies’ and its historical context as explained by the producer. The Panel noted that the name was a colloquial one used to refer to a group of statues at York House in Twickenham which was a fairly well-known landmark as an entity listed with Historic England. The Panel discussed the company’s response and noted that the name had not been used gratuitously as the packaging and company website incorporated descriptive language designed to explain the historical context of the statue. The Panel noted that due to its smaller size and limited space the pump clip did not include the same information but considered that the reference to Twickenham in the company’s name did provide some context between the name of the beer and the local landmark. The Panel determined that the name may be distasteful to some but that the overall impression, as opposed to the name in isolation, would determine whether the pump clip caused serious or widespread offence under Code rule 3.3.

The Panel discussed the artwork presented on the pump clip which depicted one of the referenced local statues, a naked woman, at York House. The Panel considered the Portman Group’s accompanying guidance to Code rule 3.3 and noted that to breach the rule in relation to sexual objectification the packaging or marketing would need to incorporate elements that were demeaning, derogatory, gratuitous or overly sexualised. The Panel considered that the design was artistically stylised and akin to art deco in style with no identifying detail added to any of the statue’s features. The Panel noted that the naked statue was modestly presented with its pubic area covered by hops and considered that nudity in and of itself would not inherently cause serious or widespread offence, particularly nudity depicted by an art deco statue. The Panel noted that there was no undue focus on the statue’s breasts which were low definition and portrayed through a shadowing technique in keeping with the depiction of the rest of the statue. The Panel discussed the pose of the statue and noted that it was not positioned in a sexualised manner which meant that it did not objectify the statue based on its gender or sexuality. The Panel considered the artwork in its historical context alongside the name ‘Naked Ladies’ and considered that the pump clip was not demeaning, discriminatory or derogatory in its portrayal of women more broadly.

After careful consideration of the overall impression conveyed by the pump clip, the Panel considered that the depiction of the statue and the name ‘Naked Ladies’ did not cause serious or widespread offence. Accordingly, the complaint was not upheld under Code rule 3.3.

Action by Company:

None required.